As we age, our bodies go through numerous changes. For many, that can mean a change in hearing ability.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), “nearly 25% of those aged 65 to 74 and 50% of those who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.”
Let’s examine the various factors that increase your risk of hearing loss as you age as well as ways to prioritize your hearing health.
Why Does Your Hearing Loss Risk Increase With Age?
Age-related hearing loss occurs when the hair cells of the inner are damaged. Sometimes this occurs simply as a result of the aging process. However, it’s also the case that as we get older, we are more likely to be exposed to other factors that can harm our hearing, including:
- Exposure to loud noise, either through work or during hobbies like hunting or riding motorcycles
- Taking certain medications that damage the ears
- Having poor circulation or disorders that can affect blow flow, like heart disease or diabetes
- A history of smoking
There’s also some evidence to suggest that hearing loss can run in the family, though it’s unclear if this is due entirely to genetics or other lifestyle factors as well.
Hearing Loss Signs To Look Out For
Because age-related hearing loss can come on slowly, many people go years before seeking any kind of treatment. That’s why it can be helpful to be aware of early signs to look out for, including:
- Difficulty following conversations, especially in places with background noise and multiple voices speaking at once, such as Radish and Rye.
- Needing to turn up the volume on the television or radio louder than you used to
- Trouble hearing high-pitched sounds, like children’s voices
- Ringing in the ears
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
- Being unable to understand conversations over the phone
Take Steps To Prioritize Your Hearing Health
If you experience signs of hearing loss or if others have mentioned your hearing problems to you, book an appointment for a hearing test. These exams are easy, and painless and offer quick insight into the cause and severity of your hearing loss.
If you do have hearing loss, it’s essential to follow the treatment plan laid out by your audiologist. In most cases, this will involve hearing aids. Adults who use hearing aids to treat their hearing loss experience a plethora of benefits compared to those who leave their condition untreated. These benefits include:
- Stronger relationships
- Increased confidence in communication ability
- Better work performance
- Lower levels of anxiety and depression
- Better physical health
- Reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia
When it comes to treating your hearing loss, there’s no time like the present. Call the experts at Southwestern Hearing & Balance today and schedule an appointment.