May is National Better Hearing Month
Elder Care in Chicago IL
Did you know that half of adults over the age of 85 have age-related hearing loss? Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, often happens gradually over time which leads to many elderly adults leaving it untreated and unresolved. May is observed as National Better Hearing Month to help spread awareness about hearing loss and ear conditions and to encourage Americans to get their hearing checked and hearing loss treated. While age-related hearing loss is very common, it doesn’t have to decrease an elderly adult’s quality of life. There are many ways elderly adults and their caregivers can cope with presbycusis and continue to do the normal activities that they enjoy. Read on for some more information about presbycusis and what you can do if you suspect that your loved one may be suffering from hearing loss.
What causes presbycusis?
As adults age, their ears go through changes which can impair hearing. These changes affect the blood flow to the inner ear, structures of the inner ear, the hearing nerve, and even the way that the brain processes sounds and speech. Elderly adults may notice that their hearing loss begins slowly and continues to get worse as the years go on. Elderly adults with diabetes, poor circulation, or who are taking certain medications may notice that their age-related hearing loss is worse. In addition, elderly adults who have had a lot of exposure to loud noises over the course of their lifetime (factory or construction workers, musicians, airport workers, etc.) may experience more pronounced hearing loss.
How does hearing loss affect my loved one’s life?
Untreated hearing loss can lead to decreased quality of life. Elderly adults with hearing loss my feel left out of conversations and social activities and have a tendency to withdraw socially. They also may experience depression, sadness, and anxiety, and find that their personal relationships are suffering. For these reasons, it is important for caregivers to encourage their loved one to visit an audiologist if they suspect that hearing loss is causing a decrease in their quality of life.
How is prebycusis treated?
While prebycusis cannot be cured or reversed, elderly adults who are experiencing hearing loss can get it treated by wearing hearing aids. Todays hearing aids are constantly getting more and more technologically advanced and more effective. When elderly adults use hearing aids to improve their hearing, they will notice that they will be able to enjoy social activities again and have a better quality of life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Chicago, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.