The official medical term for the age-related hearing loss is presbycusis. According to the National Institute of Health, the most common form of hearing loss in people over 55, presbycusis affects one-third of the over 65-74 year old population, and nearly one-half of those 75 and up.
Speaking in very simple terms, hearing works like this: sound waves hit the eardrum, causing it to vibrate. Those vibrations pass over to three tiny bones located in the middle ear, behind the eardrum. The bones transmit the vibrations to an organ called the cochlea, which transforms them into sound signals and carries them down the ear nerve to the brain.
While the exact causes of senior hearing loss are unknown, many medical professionals speculate that it may materialize due to ear nerve cell damage that can occur over time. It may also be hereditary. One thing that we do know for certain: men are more at risk than women.
A common symptom is when high-pitched noises become very faint, or seem to not exist at all. Another red flag is tinnitus, which is a constant ringing in the ears that can become nearly unbearable.
Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do to prevent senior hearing loss. But if you notice your elderly parent exhibiting symptoms, immediately schedule a hearing test with a hearing specialist. If a presbycusis diagnosis occurs, the game plan to assist your parent with their lifestyle transition could include a hearing aid, an implant into the middle ear, or learning to lip read.
But regardless, it’s important to make sure that your favorite senior feels supported throughout the ordeal. Hearing loss can be extremely isolating after a lifetime of being able to hear. Your decisions could mean the difference between them falling into a depressive abyss, or emerging from the issue feeling empowered and confident.
There is so much to think about when entering the later stages of life. If you are considering elder care options, we at 805Aging can help. Our professional staff specializes in assisting you to choose the right kind of care for your loved one.
We conduct regular check-ins when you are unable to do so. 805Aging also provides oversight and detailed feedback to the family to keep your loved one safe and well-cared for day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday and every day.
We have the resources. We can hold your hand. We can guide you. Your peace of mind is our main goal, and is well assured. To find out more, call us at 805-750-4755 or visit our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter: www.805Aging.com.
There is no manual on how to take care of your parents as they age. They had a baby book when you were young. You have us. -Amy