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Hearing loss common for older adults

Just about everyone experiences hearing loss as they age.  In fact, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that half of people over 75 have difficulty hearing. I want you to know that hearing loss happens naturally and often can be treated.

If you work or worked at a job and were exposed to repetitive noise, you’re likely to have hearing loss.  Not surprisingly, if you’ve gone to a lot of rock concerts or have blasted loud music regularly at home or in your headphones, there’s also a good chance you have hearing loss.

But, many people do not realize they have hearing loss.  And, many people who do realize it do nothing about it. There are lots of signs of hearing loss.  You might feel like sounds are muffled or you might have a hard time figuring out what someone is saying in a loud space. I once had a patient, whose wife thought his memory was going because he wouldn’t remember things she had said to him. As it turned out he just couldn’t hear her!

For both your happiness and your safety, when you notice that your hearing is changing, and it is harder to hear things as well as you did before, you should see a hearing specialist. Your hearing loss can’t be reversed, but your hearing can be helped.

If you go to the doctor, make sure you explain all your symptoms as well as any medical history that is ear-relevant, such as occupational noise or a history of ear-infections. Additionally, veterans tend to have a higher exposure to noise from the duties while serving.

To determine how much hearing loss you are suffering from, the doctor will generally perform a hearing screening test and discuss your options for hearing aids. You might also get a referral to an audiologist to help work with you to create the best course of treatment.

Seek help if you notice changes in your hearing before it continues to get worse.

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