Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 has difficulty hearing.5
Hearing loss increases sharply with age – nearly 42% of those aged over 50 years have hearing loss, increasing to about 71% of people aged 70+. About 400,000 older people live in care homes and are disproportionately affected by hearing loss, with approximately 75% of residents having a hearing problem.
Some degree of hearing loss may be a normal part of aging. Age-related hearing loss occurs gradually and tends to affect each ear equally. It’s often the result of changes in the inner ear. Because age-related hearing loss occurs over time, it can be difficult to recognize.
Commonly, most adults begin to lose their hearing around the age of 65. Depending on certain factors, this number moves around a little. Some of the more common factors for hearing loss include: Smoking (smokers have been found to experience more hearing loss than non-smokers in studies)
Tips for Communicating With Hard of Hearing Elderly Loved Ones
The most important way to prevent age-related hearing loss is to protect your hearing.
Most guidelines recommend getting screened for hearing loss beginning at age 50, assuming you’re otherwise healthy and have no known hearing problems.
Nearly 1 in 10 Americans know their hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, but more than half of them have never gotten their hearing checked. The most obvious reason to get help early is that hearing problems can get worse if you ignore them. Sometimes damage can be permanent.
Age, genetics, and damage to the ear are among the most common causes of hearing loss. About one in eight Americans have hearing loss in both ears, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:
Hearing loss occurs when the tiny hair cells are damaged or die. The hair cells DO NOT regrow, so most hearing loss caused by hair cell damage is permanent. There is no known single cause of age-related hearing loss. Most commonly, it is caused by changes in the inner ear that occur as you grow older.
Hearing loss affects people of all ages and can be caused by many different factors. The three basic categories of hearing loss are sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss is a progressive condition. This means it gets worse over time. If you lose your hearing, it will be permanent. Even though hearing loss gets worse over time, using assistive devices such as hearing aids can improve your quality of life.
The emotional effects of untreated hearing loss Fatigue, tension, stress and depression. Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations. Social rejection and loneliness. Reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety.
While age-related hearing loss cannot be “reversed”, hearing aids can be used to improve your overall hearing. Other possible causes of hearing loss include hearing loss caused by diseases, exposure to loud noises, injury, and ototoxic medications.