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Hearing Loss: A Common Problem for Older Adults

an older woman getting a hearing exam

Hearing loss is far more common than you’d probably think. It’s usually gradual and you might not notice the changes right away. Hearing loss can also be frustrating and sometimes dangerous if you are not able to hear warnings. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to try and help yourself.

What is hearing loss?

Hearing loss is essentially when you are not able to hear things as you should. Sometimes you may find that you need to turn up the volume on the TV more, or that you struggle more than most hearing someone in a large crowd. A lot of people who do experience hearing loss in their later years is because the tiny hair cells inside the ear have experienced too much wear and tear. You may also find that your hearing is affected by regular exposure to loud noise, or if you have a history of middle ear disease. Tinnitus or a family history of hearing loss can also affect you.

Being tested

If you have noticed that you might have problems with your hearing, then the first thing that you need to do is chat with your audiologist. You will then be given the chance to explain to them how your problems are affecting your day to day life. When you have done this, they will then carry out some procedures that will help them to check for any temporary or treatable ear problems. You may even be given a test as this will help you to see how you detect different levels of sound.

Could you benefit from a hearing aid?

Hearing aids usually work by making some sounds louder or clearer. They do not actually restore your hearing to normal and they won’t cure your hearing loss either, but they do make your life a lot easier. They pick up sound and amplify it, not to mention that they are also fitted with devices that can help you to distinguish between foreground noise and background noise.

Different types of hearing aid

If you do suspect that you are going to need a hearing aid then you should know that they differ in shape, price and size. Modern technology has meant that hearing aids are now much smaller, and they are also more discreet too. Some of them can even fit entirely inside the ear, but the small controls can be fiddly so if this is something that you might have trouble with then you might want to chat with your audiologist to see if they can help. Another thing that you need to know is that some hearing aids can come with additional features that will help you to improve your hearing. Some digital aids can clear up any unwanted background noise. 

When you go to an audiologist, they will be able to find a model that suits you. You may also want to ask them to see if you can try your hearing aid for a few weeks so you can find out if it’s comfortable. When using a hearing aid for the very first time, every sound can feel loud. It could take you a little while to get used to this, but when you do, you will soon find that you feel better and that you are also able to hear much easier.

Assistive devices

Sometimes it’s possible for you to invest in an assisted device. This can amplify the sounds that you hear in your home and this can be ideal if you’re not quite sure if you need a hearing aid or not. Some examples include having a loop system connected to your television so that you can make it sound louder. A telephone amplifier can also be purchased, along with adjustments to doorbells and alarms.

Your audiologist

If you feel as though your level of hearing has been lowered over the last few years, then it’s important that you chat with your audiologist. When you do, you can then work with them to make sure that you are given a product that can help you with your needs and you can also count on them to get to the root of the problem, if it’s caused by a medical issue. This will give you peace of mind and it will also improve your quality of life from now on. Your audiologist will also be able to answer any questions that you have about your hearing or even the hearing aids that are available for you to choose from. To find out more, call Adirondack Audiology at 800-273-9536.