Hearing Loss: A Common Problem for Older Adults

Hearing loss is a common problem caused by loud noise, aging, disease, and genetic variations. About one-third of older adults have hearing loss, and the chance of developing hearing loss increases with age. People with hearing loss may find it hard to have conversations with friends and family. They may also have trouble understanding a doctor’s advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells and alarms.

Some people may not want to admit they have trouble hearing. Hearing problems that are ignored or untreated can get worse. If you have a hearing problem, see your doctor. Hearing aids, special training, certain medications, and surgery are some of the treatments that can help.

Signs of hearing loss

Some people have a hearing problem and don’t realize it. You should see your doctor if you:

• Have trouble understanding what people are saying over the telephone
• Find it hard to follow conversations when two or more people are talking
• Often ask people to repeat what they are saying
• Need to turn up the TV volume so loud that others complain
• Have a problem understanding speech because of background noise
• Think that others seem to mumble
• Can’t understand what’s being said when children and people with higher pitched voices speak to you

To learn more about the types and causes or hearing loss in older adults, from the National Institute on Aging, CLICK HERE.