What is age-related hearing loss? Also known as presbycusis, age-related hearing loss is characterized by bilateral, symmetrical, and progressive hearing loss with a primary symptom of decreased high-frequency hearing (difficulty hearing sounds like insects, birds, phone rings, etc.). It often accompanies symptoms such as tinnitus or ringing in the ears, and a decline in speech recognition (hearing sounds but not understanding them).
As individuals age, various organs in the body undergo degeneration. Seniors, already experiencing more severe degeneration, are prone to various health issues, with hearing loss being a common occurrence, making communication challenging.
How to self-diagnose:
- Hearing others speak but struggling to understand; asking them to slow down or repeat.
- Family noting the TV volume being loud.
- Family commenting that speech sounds louder than before.
- Needing to be called multiple times to hear.
- Family or others noticing difficulty in conversation, with answers unrelated to questions.
If experiencing any of these symptoms, it's crucial to consider potential hearing issues. Likewise, if other seniors in the household show similar symptoms, attention is warranted.
Prevention and Control:
- Adopt healthy dietary habits, focusing on nutrition with supplements like zinc, iron, calcium for seniors.
- Maintain emotional stability, as emotional excitement in seniors can lead to vascular spasms in the ears, exacerbating ischemia and hypoxia in the inner ear, ultimately causing hearing loss.
- Minimize prolonged exposure to noise; promptly move away from sudden loud noises to reduce impact and damage to both ears.
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption, as nicotine and alcohol directly damage the auditory nerve, contributing to cardiovascular diseases that affect inner ear blood supply.
- Engage in regular physical exercise to promote overall blood circulation, improving blood supply to the inner ear. Exercise choices can be tailored based on individual health conditions, including walking, jogging, or practicing Tai Chi, but consistency is key, especially for those with chronic conditions like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes.
Common Misconceptions about Age-Related Hearing Loss:
Wearing hearing aids makes hearing worse (X):
- Properly fitted and professionally adjusted hearing aids, like those from Chosgo, undergo rigorous testing to ensure effectiveness and won't worsen hearing.
No correlation between age-related hearing loss and dementia (X):
- While not directly causing dementia, age-related hearing loss indirectly increases the risk. Diminished perception of sound alters the brain, leading to cognitive decline and communication challenges, reducing social integration for seniors.
High risks associated with cochlear implant surgery (X):
- Cochlear implant surgery is a well-established and effective option for severe hearing loss. After over 20 years of development in the country, the procedure is mature, offering positive outcomes for those who do not benefit from hearing aids.
Apart from natural aging, prolonged exposure to loud environments and certain ear conditions, such as middle ear infections or perforated eardrums, can contribute to hearing loss. Stay informed and address hearing concerns promptly with reliable solutions like Chosgo hearing aids.