Undertreated & Undiagnosed: Age-Related Hearing Loss

Undertreated & Undiagnosed: Age-Related Hearing Loss

In Age-related Hearing Lossby Janiece Dickenson, HIS

Janiece Dickenson, HIS

Since 2010, Janiece has served the Tucson community and committed herself to providing long term quality hearing care. Janiece believes that the only way to know if a hearing aid right for you is to experience it in your day to day life.
Janiece Dickenson, HIS

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There are a few things that are inevitable in our lives. Unfortunately, when it comes to aging, there are a series of age-related issues that can arise. Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis to be politically correct, impacts many aging adults. 1 out of every 2 adults that are over sixty-five years of age, will experience some type of hearing loss in their lives.

Leaving hearing loss untreated, is not a life-threatening condition. It does pose a safety risk, and can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life if it persists for an elongated frame of time. The harsh reality is that even when faced with age-related hearing loss, one out of five people will continue to live their lives without seeking proper medical treatment for their ailment.

What Causes Presbycusis?

Untreated hearing loss gradually starts to become a problem, when it is left to run rampant, so to speak. There are many changes that occur within the inner ear that can cause this condition. Structural issues within the ear canal, changes in blood flow, and impaired nerves are a few things that can cause this cognitive decline.

External issues may be to blame for untreated hearing loss. Issues such as smoking, excessive exposure to loud noises, and the utilization of certain medications can be to blame for this common condition. Not to mention, genetics may also play a role in who is plagued by hearing issues and who is not.

Hearing Loss Symptoms and Signs

Due to the fact that presbycusis gradually affects an individual, there is usually no sign of the decline, until it begins to interfere with daily life. In fact, most people do not realize they have a hearing problem, until someone else brings the issue to their attention. Just like other age-related medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, hearing loss is known as a silent medical ailment.

Leaving hearing loss untreated, will only make the condition progress. One of the first symptoms that individuals tend to not be able to ignore is an inability to hear sounds that are high in pitch. Hearing children and female speakers will become difficult. Background noises will also become harder to hear.

Common signs to look out for when assessing your hearing are as follows:

  • the inability to hear in noise filled areas
  • ringing in one or both ears
  • constantly asking people to repeat themselves when speaking with them
  • turning up the volume on radio and television channels

How Hearing Loss is Diagnosed

An annual hearing test can help individuals avoid cognitive decline that results from untreated hearing loss. Even though preventative measures exist to help limit the amount of people who suffer from hearing related conditions, the harsh reality is most people do not seek medical attention until it is too late.

If you have any of the above symptoms, it is imperative that you meet with a hearing health professional immediately, to assess the severity of your condition. A hearing specialist will perform a routine exam to rule out medical issues that could result in the loss of hearing. They will also visually examine your ears utilizing an otoscope.

Treatment Options for Hearing Loss

Currently, there are no cures that exist for age-related hearing loss. If diagnosed with the condition, a hearing professional will work with you to limit the safety risk of losing this sense. There are various things that can be done to help maintain the hearing you presently have, and assist with making life manageable while living with this condition.

Recommended treatment options include hearing aids, amplifying devices, and cochlear implants. Cochlear implants are an option for severe cases. They do not have the ability to restore normal hearing, but they can help amplify sounds, making them easier for someone to hear. Sign language lessons may be suggested if complete hearing loss is inevitable.

Will Hearing Loss Affect Us All?

It is highly possible that we eventually will be affected by some form of hearing loss. An annual hearing test can help uncover an issue before it becomes severe. The condition becomes evident by the age of 50. By seventy years of age, two thirds of the age group have hearing related ailments, and by 100 every individual is affected in some degree. 

Rincalina Hearing Center

If you’ve experienced changes in your hearing, take the first step toward improving your overall health and well-being and visit us at Rincalina Hearing Center. We provide comprehensive hearing health services and we’re here to help!