Having a little trouble hearing? It can be difficult to admit that hearing loss is affecting your day, but you’re not alone. In adults, aged 65 and older, one in three lives with hearing loss. Unfortunately, there is no cure for age-related hearing loss but there are ways to minimize its impact on your day-to-day life. Putting the issue off another day, another week, or another year can be tempting, but don’t! Your health and happiness may depend on it.
Risks of Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can impact your life in ways you might not expect. In addition to safety concerns that arise when not being able to hear your surroundings, loss of hearing can strain relationships and impact your health.
Family members may find themselves frustrated when communicating with a loved one experiencing untreated hearing loss. Seniors who live with hearing loss often report feelings of isolation and depression. Further, some studies suggest there is a correlation between dementia and hearing loss.
How to Spot Hearing Loss
In seniors, hearing loss is typically gradual so you may not notice hearing loss right away. Being aware of the first signs can help you recognize and address issues as they arise.
Seniors experiencing mild hearing loss may:
Feel like the people around them are mumbling more often or not speaking clearly enough
Have trouble understanding speech in group settings where two or more people may cross-talk
Miss subtle sounds like microwave beeps, birds chirping, or the click of a turn signal
Strain to follow conversation in crowded areas like restaurants, planes, and family gatherings
Find Help with Hearing
Remember you’re not alone. Be as open as you can with friends and family. Asking loved ones to help out by speaking clearly and facing you as they speak will make a world of difference.
But don’t stop there, take action today! Schedule a visit with your doctor, an otolaryngologist, or an audiologist to discuss your options. You may also test your hearing at home by taking the National Hearing Test. The test uses an online form and your landline phone to check your hearing and is free once per year to AARP members. Most hearing issues can be greatly improved by non-intrusive, discrete assistive devices.