Why Hearing Loss is More Dangerous When You are Older

Charlottesville hearing aids

More than a third of those that are over the age of 65 experience some kind of hearing loss. But too many people do not have hearing aids. This could be because they can’t find assistive listening devices that they can afford or that they don’t want to face the stigma related to hearing aids or for various other reasons. However, the real question comes down to, is being able to hear important? So many people get by in life with complete hearing loss and are living completely normal lives. Because of this it may seem that being able to hear is not crucial to a person’s quality of life. However, this isn’t necessarily true for someone who has lost their hearing due to old age. Here are some reasons why it could be dangerous.

They Aren’t Used to it
When someone is born with hearing loss or experiences it when they are very young, they grow up learning how to get through life without their hearing. When an elderly person loses their hearing, they don’t have these experiences. They aren’t used to being able to navigate through life without being able to hear what’s going on around them. This could make it dangerous when they’re out walking in public, trying to use cross walks, etc. It can make them oblivious to what is going on around them because they are so used to being able to rely on their hearing to warn them if something is going around them that could hurt them, like an oncoming car, for example.

It’s One of Many Changes
As people age, they go through so many changes that they just aren’t used to. Nutrition deficiency, illness and various loss of capabilities. Hearing aids are going to be the only thing they need but they might feel like if they give in to that, then they’re just accepting the fact that they are getting old and they aren’t ready for that yet. However, because of how important it is to be able to hear, especially at an older age, it’s beneficial to convince them that hearing aids are not indicative of old age. In fact, babies and teenagers around the world also wear them. It’s indicative of hearing loss which does not only happen because of being elderly.

It Could Make You Unbalanced
Part of the problem with not being able to hear is that when a person walks, they use their ears to pick up cues that assist with stayed balanced. When someone has hearing loss, these subtle cues are lost. Without the important signals to help, their brain has to work that much harder in order to simply process sound. Having to do so much at one time in their head could mess up some of the way that the mind processes things so that they can safely walk. This is why you find elderly people falling over so often or feeling unsteady when they are trying to get around, even in their own homes.

It Contributes to Social Isolation
When someone can’t hear properly, they often times don’t want to spend much time with other people or engage in conversation. However, social isolation is one of the factor that might contribute to dementia. Research has found that social interaction staves off much of the symptoms of dementia. Being lonely affects a person’s physical health. If someone does not have social interaction every day with other people or they don’t have very many fulfilling relationships in their life, they will lack a sense of belong. This feeling of loneliness or isolation can up the risk factor for improper eating, smoking, drinking alcohol, depression, insomnia, heart disease and lack of physical activity.

When someone experiences the sound of ringing in their ears, it could be indicative of oncoming hearing loss. If you or someone that you know is hearing ringing, then they could schedule a tinnitus hearing test with their doctor in order to make sure everything is alright in their ears. It’s better to get hearing aids earlier so that they can help the hearing that they do have before they completely lose it. Be sensitive to your loved one that is losing their hearing.

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