Being humans, we are blessed with five senses including our ears, which are one of nature’s gifts. Everything we listen to from childhood to adulthood impacts our life. We admire different musicians, we can interact with the people surrounding us, and most importantly, speech is directly connected with hearing. We can talk with others.Unfortunately, some of us have to go through hearing loss, either by age-related issues or sudden hearing loss since birth. It is tough to express one’s pain to others. Usually, such people are very much prone to feel low about themselves. But some may fight through all such odds and flow against the water by motivating themselves and others.
Hearing is vital in interpersonal relationships, idea sharing, activity participation, and environmental awareness. Hearing is an important source of information, including the existence of danger. Warning yells, smoke alarms, and sirens all require a sense of hearing. The significance of correcting hearing issues to enable continuing social involvement is growing as people are living longer. That’s why knowing the why, i.e. the reason behind hearing issues, is essential. People not specialising in treating hearing problems do not know that it is of many types, and it may be acute, chronic, and some even cause Dementia. Furthermore, there appears to be a strong case for wanting to restore or lessen any hearing loss, given the practical and psychosocial importance of hearing. However, only about 20% of those who could benefit from amplification wear hearing aids.
Hearing issues in the growing years are both a boon and bane. If you are willing and brave enough, this hearing loss will not even be a problem. Otherwise, nothing is easy in life, and you have to hustle, where the absolute joy lies.
Causes of Hearing Loss in Seniors
One of the most frequent causes of hearing impairment is loud noise. Lawn mowers, snow blowers, and loud music can all cause lasting inner ear damage that impairs hearing. Tinnitus is also exacerbated by loud noise. Most hearing issues brought on by noise can be avoided. Turn down the volume on your stereo, television, or headphones to protect your ears. You can also remove loud noises and use earplugs or other ear protection. Sound transmission from the eardrum to the inner ear might be obstructed by earwax or fluid build-up. Speak to your doctor if the wax blockage is an issue. They might recommend gentle treatments to make earwax softer.
Hearing problems can also result from a perforated ear drum. Infection, pressure, and placing things in the ear, such as cotton-tipped swabs, can all harm the eardrum. If you experience ear pain or fluid drainage, consult a doctor. Hearing issues can be exacerbated by health disorders common in seniors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Your hearing may also be affected by tumours, heart problems, strokes, brain injuries, viruses, and germs (including the ear infection otitis media).
Taking some drugs might also cause hearing problems. Medication that is “ototoxic” causes inner ear damage, sometimes permanently. Among ototoxic pharmaceuticals, medicines are used to treat severe infections, cancer, and heart problems. Ototoxic antibiotics include several categories, and even aspirin might be problematic at specific dosages. If you experience any issues while taking a drug, speak with your doctor. Additionally, hearing impairment may be inherited. Not all are inherited hearing issues, however, genetic hearing impairment manifests at birth, and certain forms may manifest later in life. For instance, abnormal growth of bone impairs the proper function of ear components in otosclerosis, which is assumed to be hereditary.
Risk Factors for Age-related Hearing Issues
- Alcohol consumption in access and at regular intervals is a concern. It harms blood circulation, which also results in ear tissue harm.
- Family History can be identified as a factor for hearing issues. You can trace your family or parents’ hearing problems to take precautions for the same quite early.
- Hormonal changes (most commonly seen in women) can also influence hearing issues.
- Other risk factors like illicit drug use, access to medication, low vitamin intake, and living in noisy areas can be considered significant concerns for hearing loss.
Devices to Help with Hearing Impairment
You might be advised to receive a hearing aid from your physician or specialist. Electronic, battery-operated devices that amplify sound are hearing aids. Hearing aids come in a variety of designs. Inquire whether a trial period is available to determine whether the equipment is ideal for you. An audiologist or hearing aid professional will show you how to use your hearing aid. Some hard-of-hearing people can benefit from cochlear implants, alerting devices, assistive listening devices, and mobile apps. There are cochlear implants for those with profound hearing impairment, and not all types of hearing loss respond to them. Alarm clocks, smoke detectors, and doorbells can all communicate with alert systems to provide you with visual alerts or vibrations. A flashing light, for instance, can alert you when the phone or the doorbell is being opened. Some people rely on their cell phones’ vibration settings to notify them of incoming calls.
Seniors with mild-to-moderate listening issues will be permitted to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, a new category of regulated hearing devices, without a prescription. To help people with this loss, they must try to listen, interact, and participate more in daily activities. OTC hearing aids will amplify some sounds. In the coming years, OTC hearing aids are anticipated to become accessible in stores and online.
How to Cope with Hearing Loss?
Most advice is not to be a doctor of your own. Consult your doctor if you experience any hearing loss symptoms like sudden hearing loss, hearing loss in one ear, and ringing. If your hearing is poor, you should:
- Inform individuals that you have a hearing issue.
- Request that people face you and speak more clearly and gently. Additionally, request that they talk loudly without shouting.
- Pay close attention to what is being said and any gestures or facial expressions.
- If you don’t understand what someone has said, let them know.
- Ask the speaker to rephrase a sentence before attempting it again.
- Locate a nice spot to listen. Put yourself between the speaker and any loud sources, and hunt for a quieter area to converse.
Can Ayurveda provide any remedy for hearing problems in elders?
Ayurveda has recently become a trend worldwide because of its successful hearing loss treatment. It emphasises diet and lifestyle changes. Although hearing issues cannot be cured entirely through Ayurveda, it may still help. It is a time-consuming practice that must be followed consistently and with great patience, keeping faith in the process.
How to prevent hearing loss because of age-related issues?
Protecting your hearing is the most crucial step to avoiding age-related hearing issues.
- Keep the volume of your headphones and earbuds at a reasonable level.
- Avoid loud noises and limit your exposure to them.
- Avoid smoking
- Receive prompt treatment for ailments like ear infections.
- Put on special fluid-filled ear muffs or earplugs (to prevent more damage to hearing)
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Deafness can be caused due to various reasons and ageing is one of them. Seniors develop hearing impairment more commonly than youngsters. From a young age, you must try to avoid loud noise, smoking, and using cotton buds for healthy hearing. Always remember to consult a doctor if you face any hearing issues.
How do you know that you have an inner ear problem?
If you are feeling ringing sensations from the past few days or unusual pain not daily or temporary hearing issues, these are some of the symptoms that your ear has some inner problem like infection.
What is the test for checking inner ear problems?
Some tests are there to check inner ear problems like Electroneuronography, APD testing, and Rotary chair test.
Does Tinnitus lead to Dementia?
Tinnitus increases the probability of Dementia to around sixty per cent at an early stage, and problems increase in some cases with an increase in age.
What organs are affected by hearing loss?
Hearing issues may impact the cochlea, its connected nerve, spinal cord, and even the brain. Its effect is also seen in the motor activities of the person.
What does losing your hearing feel like?
Speech and other sounds start to get muddled. Understanding words can be challenging, especially in noisy situations or when surrounded by several people. Having trouble hearing consonants, and asking people to speak loudly, slowly, and more clearly are symptoms of hearing loss.
Which ear do you wear a hearing aid?
Hearing capacity should be the same in both ears for overall sound experience, and it is better if the brain receives information from both ears. If it is not important in which ear you should wear it then wear it in the ear where you may feel comfortable and from where the purpose of amplifying sound gets implemented optimally
Can you go deaf from using headphones?
Using headphones while listening to loud music might harm the inner ear and result in hearing issues. The loudest setting on an Apple iPhone when using headphones is 102 dB, even a few songs at this volume can cause hearing impairment.
Can hearing loss in seniors be cured naturally?
No, it is similar to an increasing eye power which once starts declining, cannot be restored entirely up to its natural stage.
Can Covid-19 cause hearing loss?
Yes, it is treated as a common trend where youngsters to elderly aged people are facing the issue of sudden deafness. This is because Covid-19 impacts the nerves.
How do you remove crystals from the Inner ear?
It is advisable to take the help of your doctor to clean and remove inner ear crystals as the ear is a very delicate part, and taking risks without any knowledge will create infections and pain in the ear.
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