Hearing loss is among the most common problems facing older Americans. Almost a third of people over 65 will experience some level of hearing loss; after the age of 75, the number is closer to half. The prevalence of hearing loss makes it no less frustrating for those effected, however. Hearing loss can impact everything from social relationships to the ability to respond to emergencies. There are many factors that can increase the likelihood of hearing loss later in life: long-term exposure to loud noises, certain underlying medical conditions, smoking, and the excessive use of some medications, such as aspirin, can all contribute to hearing problems. However, for many people, hearing loss can be attributed to simple wear-and-tear on the delicate mechanisms of the inner ear over time.
Hearing loss is not only frustrating and discouraging to those experiencing it firsthand: it can also have a major impact on friends and loved ones. People with hearing loss often have difficulty following conversations. Consonants may be less distinct, and, especially over the phone or in environments with background noise, words may become hard to distinguish. For these reasons, some people with hearing loss become withdrawn, preferring solitude to the frustration of being unable to communicate with ease. If someone you care about has become distant due to hearing loss, it can cause feelings of sadness, worry, and frustration. However, it’s important not to take it personally—and to recognize that their may be steps you can take to help.
For people with hearing loss, being able to understand speech can diminish feelings of isolation and encourage social participation. When speaking to someone with hearing loss, it’s important to remember to speak loudly and slowly. Increasing the volume of your speech can make it sound clearer and less muffled; speaking slowly increases the likelihood that the person you’re talking to will be able to understand each word. Although it can be discouraging to deal with someone’s hearing loss, don’t give up! Adjusting the way you speak, along with patience and perseverance, can help to restore communication and improve your relationship.
Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for hearing problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.