ASK One Senior Place – Dealing With Hearing Loss
By Barbara Fradkin
Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director for One Senior Place, Viera.
Q: My husband says I’m hard of hearing, because I sometimes don’t catch everything he says. Is he right?
Hearing loss can have a huge impact on your quality of life. The National Institute on Aging describes it as “a common problem caused by noise, aging, disease and heredity.” Very common in older adults, hearing loss affects one in three people age 65-74 and nearly half of people 75 and older in the U.S.
What are some telltale signs? Sandra Wagner, owner of Personal Hearing Solutions in Viera, explains. “Someone with hearing loss may find phone conversations difficult to follow. Some may watch tv at a high volume and find it hard to hear in busy restaurants. Others have extra trouble understanding women or children. They usually ask people to repeat themselves and tend to believe others are not speaking clearly.”
Two general categories of hearing loss:
Sensorineural hearing loss- this is usually permanent and occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve.
Conductive hearing loss- this can usually be restored, and occurs when earwax buildup, fluid, or a punctured eardrum prevent sound waves from reaching the inner ear.
Other types of hearing loss:
Sudden Hearing Loss– this rapid loss of hearing should be treated as a medical emergency.
Age related hearing loss (Presbycusis) – this comes on slowly with age and usually affects both ears equally.
Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears) – this is very common and usually accompanies other types of hearing loss. The buzzing, clicking or hissing sounds of tinnitus can also be a sign of high blood pressure or diabetes, or a side effect to some medications.
A yearly hearing test after age 50 can help ensure you don’t miss out on life’s little joys. Hearing tests are administered at no charge by the on-site professionals at One Senior Place and can be scheduled by calling 321-751-6771.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com.