Aging is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Research indicates that one in three adults over the age of 65 has some degree of hearing loss.
Why Does Age Increase Hearing Loss Risk?
Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, occurs because we are more likely to experience changes to the inner ear and other structures that affect hearing the older we get. These changes can happen simply because of the natural aging process or due to:
- A family history of hearing loss
- Frequent exposure to loud noise
- Medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes
- Head trauma
- Taking medications that can cause hearing loss
Can Hearing Loss Be Prevented?
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent age-related hearing loss, there are several things you can do to lower your risk and protect your hearing.
- Avoid loud noise exposure and/or use hearing protection devices like earplugs when you’re in loud environments.
- Look for alternatives to medications that may damage hearing.
- Stay active and eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables to lower your risk of vascular damage that may contribute to hearing loss.
Worried About Your Loved One’s Hearing?
Age-related hearing loss is almost always gradual, so much so that it can be hard for the person suffering to even notice they have a problem at first. This is why it’s important to be aware of some of the early signs, which include:
- Frequently needing others to repeat themselves
- Misunderstanding what people say
- Struggling to follow conversations on the phone or when in environments with a lot of background noise, like Portland City Grill.
- Needing to turn the volume up on the TV or radio louder than usual
If you have a parent or other loved one who is exhibiting early signs of hearing loss, encourage them to schedule an appointment for a hearing test.
Treatment Options for Age-related Hearing Loss
Even though a diagnosis of hearing loss may seem daunting, with the right treatment your loved one can improve their ability to communicate and understand speech and stay engaged with the outside world.
Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. Using hearing aids not only improves your ability to hear sound but it can benefit your physical, mental and cognitive health as well.
If you would like more information or wish to schedule an appointment for yourself or a loved one, call PDX ENT today.