8 Hearing Loss Warning Signs to Remember During Seniors’ Month
This June will mark the 31st annual Seniors’ Month. Even Ontario’s provincial government is celebrating with their theme of “Vibrant Seniors, Vibrant Communities.” They’ve asked Ontarians to get in on the action by tweeting #vibrantseniors to @OntSeniors and post photos reflecting this year’s theme.
Hearing loss among seniors is nothing to ignore. One in ten people in Canada have a hearing loss and more than 50 percent of Canadians over 65 years old are hard of hearing.
One cause of hearing loss can be conductive hearing loss, which happens when there is a blockage of sound waves from the inner ear.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or to the nerves that send sound to the brain. Some people suffer from a combination of both types of hearing loss.
Presbycusis or age-related hearing loss can be genetic and is usually a sensorineural hearing disorder. It’s characterized by the slow decay of the sensitive hair cells located in the inner ear. Other forms of decay can include circulatory problems, diseases like diabetes, and long-term exposure to loud noise.
Conditions like Ear infections, middle ear dysfunction, neurological diseases and stroke can be responsible for hearing loss. Even the side effects of certain medication, such as aspirin and some antibiotics can be the culprit behind hearing loss.
Here are some warning signs of hearing loss:
- You feel everyone’s speech is muffled or like they’re mumbling
- Difficulty hearing conversations when there is background noise
- The voices of women and children are difficult to hear
- You hear ringing, buzzing, hissing, or roaring in one of both ears, which is a sign of Tinnitus.
- You constantly ask people to repeat themselves
- You turn up the television or radio really loud
- You hear better with one ear versus the other
- You find yourself withdrawing from social contact because you have to strain to hear
Hearing loss can negatively affect your social, economic and mental well-being. Seeing that age doesn’t define how fulfilling or not your life can be, hearing loss should never limit any active lifestyle.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it may be time to schedule a hearing test with your local Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist.