Do you need to repeat yourself when talking to your elderly loved one?
Do they ask you to speak more loudly and slowly?
Hearing problems are common for people over 65 years old and are a normal part of aging. According to various sources, around 30% of older adults in the US suffer from hearing loss, partially and completely.
However, hearing problems can occur due to other reasons as well.
Why People Lose Their Hearing
When you notice your senior starts having hearing problems, go to the doctor to determine the reasons for this condition. The aging process is surely not the only reason for this problem.
My father-in-law, for instance, has minor hearing problems because he spent decades working in a factory where machinery was making an incredible noise. This left a mark, and now he tends to favor his right ear to hear people better.
Certain medical conditions can also have a negative impact on hearing, such as brain tumors and diabetes. High blood pressure can sometimes be responsible for hearing problems, too, as well as ear infections.
Before you decide what therapy would be the best for your senior, consult a doctor. A doctor will determine the cause of the problem and decide on the most suitable therapy. Don’t be surprised if they treat other conditions instead of hearing loss. They may focus on high blood pressure or on some other condition that contributed to developing the hearing issues.
What to Do When a Senior Has Hearing Problems
Once you notice your loved one can’t hear you well, consult a doctor about what would be the best thing to do. Getting hearing aids is usually the recommendation everyone receives. In the past, people had ear trumpets, but luckily, technology has progressed. Hearing aids improve hearing by making a sound more audible. There are many different types of hearing aids, so ask the doctor which one would be the best.
Before they get a pair of hearing aids, you can do some things to help your senior communicate better.
First of all, always look at your elderly adult when they are speaking and vice versa. When people watch your lips while you’re speaking, they will have a better chance of understanding what you are talking about.
If there is noise in the background, it will be much more difficult for them to understand the conversation. When they want to communicate, turn off the TV and turn down the music.
When going to school, church, or other similar gatherings, make sure you sit in the first row. If you can’t hear the TV well, ask at a local electronics store whether they have assisted hearing devices.
How Can You Prevent Hearing Loss?
Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer to this question.
If you work in a noisy environment, as my father-in-law did, wear ear protection all the time. Don’t let yourself get used to a loud environment. This can result in severe hearing damage once you get to an older age. Also, don’t listen to loud music for a long period.
You may have come across articles stating that healthy diet can lower the risk of hearing loss – which is partially true. A healthy diet may prevent cardiovascular diseases and lower your blood pressure. Since high blood pressure can cause hearing issues, anything that lowers it also logically decreases the chance of developing hearing loss.
Hearing loss is sometimes inevitable. However, you can do a lot to lower the risk of losing your hearing. Avoid loud environments and eat healthy food. It’s not a big deal, is it?
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