Hearing

  • Hearing Changes

    As people age, changes in hearing, vision, smell, touch and taste may occur. It is estimated that 30% of 65-74 year olds and 40% to 66% of individuals over 75 years of age have some form of hearing loss. Risk factors include growing older, exposure to frequent/excessive noise and diseases. These changes can affect your quality of life and ability to interact with your family and friends and your surroundings.

    Several common conditions affect hearing in older adults:
    • High frequency hearing loss – hinders the ability to hear high pitched sound
    • Impacted ear wax – causes hearing loss, pain and dizziness
    • Sensorineural deafness – causes sounds to seem too loud, problems following conversations, problems hearing in noisy areas, problems hearing women’s voices

    Hearing loss problems:
    • Quality of life problems, leading to social isolation and depression
    • Problems hearing medication instructions and car horn when crossing the road, and inability to hear alarms during an emergency

  • Care strategies

    • Assessment for impacted earwax
    • Use of a pocket amplifier
    • Using a lower tone of voice by loved ones and friends to compensate for high frequency hearing loss
    • Use of written instructions
    • Proper hearing aid care
    • Assessment for sudden hearing changes, and referral to an audiologist if indicated
    • Whisper test, finger rubbing test or tuning fork tests by your healthcare provider to determine if further evaluation is needed

    Many of the conditions causing hearing loss are treatable. With treatment, you can experience optimal hearing, talk with your family and friends and stay safe in your surroundings.

  • Hearing Amplifiers

    Over 50% adults age 75 and older have hearing problems. The use of hearing devices by older adults with hearing problems can improve quality of life.

    • Telephone amplifiers increase the loudness of the ring and voices
    • Hearing amplifiers improve the sound of people’s voices
    • Personal hearing amplifier used in the hospital or other healthcare setting blocks out noise, and allows you to speak with your family and healthcare providers

Links:

Hearing Changes Links:
Hearing Amplifiers Links:

Note: The NICHE for Patient+Family Encyclopedia provides links to third party web sites, however, NICHE does not recommend and or endorse any products or any of the content on any third party websites.