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Hearing Loss Prevention

Age-Related Hearing Loss – The Facts

Hearing loss affects 1 out of every 3 adults between the ages of 65 and 74 years old.  Hearing loss affects seniors safety and health as well as social life.  Hearing loss can be reduced but let’s take minute to look at the numbers. (NIDCD), (NAIA)

  • Adults over the age of 70 with hearing loss – only 1/3 use hearing aids, which could benefit them
  • 28.8 million US adults use hearing aids
  • Men under 69 – twice as likely to experience hearing loss
  • 75+ – 50% of people in this age group have impaired hearing (NIDCD)

Understanding Hearing Loss – The Basics

  • Who?
    • Anyone can have hearing loss.
    • More common in older adults
    • Age increases so does risk of hearing impairment
  • Causes?
    • Noise damage
    • Diseases
    • Normal age deterioration
    • Medical conditions
      • high blood pressure
      • exposure to noise
      • other factors
  • Levels?
    • Gradual
      • Simple leads to more advanced
  • Prevention?
    • Not entirely
    • Minimized/delayed
      • protect against noise
      • avoid conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure that put you at greater risk
  • Dangerous?
    • Unlikely to cause other health issues
    • Can be difficult to hear alarms, emergency notifications
    • Misunderstand doctor instructions
    • Mishear warnings/important statements
    • Not grow isolated, less confidence conversing
    • Can cause stress/ balance issues  (NIDCD), (Hopkins Medicine)

I think I have hearing loss!  Now what?

  1. Signs
    1. Unable to make out sounds against background noises
    2. Difficulty understanding words/sounds, especially consonants
    3. Withdrawal from conversations/ socializing
    4. Regularly turning up volume
    5. Muffling of normal clear sounds in speech
  2. Action
    1. See a doctor ASAP
    2. Have a hearing test for diagnosis
    3. Use a hearing aid (surgical vs implant) to minimize loss
    4. Look into technology like apps that can customize options and preferences (Mayo Clinic)


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