Have you ever wondered why some elderly individuals struggle with hearing loss? Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is characterized by a gradual and symmetrical decline in high-frequency hearing (difficulty hearing or inability to hear sounds like insect noises, bird songs, phone rings, etc.). Additional symptoms include ringing or buzzing in the ears and a decrease in speech recognition (the ability to hear sounds but not understand them).
As the body ages, various organs undergo degeneration, making seniors more susceptible to certain health conditions. One common issue is hearing loss, which significantly impacts communication with others.
How to Self-Diagnose:
- You can hear people speaking but struggle to understand their words; asking them to slow down or repeat may help.
- Family members mention that the TV volume is loud.
- Family members notice an increase in the volume of your speech.
- It takes multiple attempts for others to get your attention.
- Feedback from family or others indicates that you often interrupt conversations and provide unrelated answers.
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it's essential to consider whether hearing loss is affecting you. Similarly, if other elderly individuals in your home exhibit these signs, it's crucial to take them seriously.
Prevention and Control Measures:
- Cultivate healthy eating habits, paying attention to nutrition by supplementing with zinc, iron, calcium, and other essential nutrients.
- Maintain emotional stability, as emotional disturbances in seniors can lead to vascular spasms in the ears, potentially causing reduced blood and oxygen supply to the inner ear and, consequently, hearing loss.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to loud noises, and if sudden noise occurs, move away quickly to minimize the impact on both ears.
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption, as nicotine and alcohol can directly damage the auditory nerve, leading to cardiovascular issues that affect inner ear blood supply and, consequently, hearing.
- Engage in regular physical exercise to improve overall blood circulation, benefiting blood supply to the inner ear. Choose activities based on individual health conditions, such as walking, jogging, or practicing Tai Chi, and ensure consistent participation, especially for those with chronic conditions like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes.
Common Misconceptions about Age-Related Hearing Loss:
Wearing hearing aids will make your hearing worse (❌) If hearing aids undergo rigorous testing and fitting by professionals in authorized hearing aid centers, they won't worsen hearing. Poor-quality aids or improper fitting processes, however, may contribute to further hearing decline.
Age-related hearing loss has no connection to dementia (❌) While age-related hearing loss doesn't directly cause dementia, it indirectly increases the risk. Reduced perception of sounds can lead to changes in the elderly brain, causing dullness and cognitive decline. Additionally, hearing loss may lead to communication and social challenges, reducing elderly individuals' integration into society and further contributing to cognitive decline, especially if they have underlying conditions like cardiovascular diseases.
Cochlear implant surgery is very risky (❌) Cochlear implant surgery is a well-established and effective method for improving severe sensorineural hearing loss. After more than 20 years of development in the country, the technology is mature. Individuals with poor results from hearing aids can consult an ear specialist to explore cochlear implant surgery, provided they meet the necessary criteria and do not have contraindications.
Apart from natural aging, prolonged exposure to high noise levels can damage hearing. Conditions like middle ear infections, otolithiasis, and perforated eardrums can also contribute to age-related hearing loss. Regular check-ups and prompt treatment are essential for maintaining optimal hearing health.
For cutting-edge solutions to address hearing challenges, explore Chosgo's range of hearing aids at Chosgo Hearing Aids, including the revolutionary SmartU Rechargeable Hearing Aids like the SmartU One Pair.