Hearing loss can be a confusing experience that leaves you feeling discouraged, frustrated and isolated. October is Audiology Awareness Month, which means now is a great time to learn about life changes that can help make for a better tomorrow.
Audiologists, including the experts at Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery, can help identify hearing problems and recommend a treatment solution for you or your family member. It’s important to remember that seniors are most at risk for changes in hearing, so let’s look at some of the ways that older people might be affected.
Seniors Remain a More Vulnerable Population
Hearing loss affects people of all ages, but seniors are most likely to encounter challenges. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that 25 percent of those age 65 to 74 have some form of significant hearing loss. That number grows to 50 percent past age 75.
Meanwhile, one out of three people over the age of 70 who need a hearing device use one, meaning that a third of people experience the harmful effects of hearing loss because they don’t get the help that they need.
Underlying Problems With Depression
Research shows that hearing loss can also lead to depression, according to the American Academy of Audiology.
Seniors who experience hearing loss may deal with the following:
- Decreased personal safety
- Cognitive decline
- Poor health
Other signs of depression from hearing loss include avoiding simple duties, withdrawing from all social situations and feelings of loneliness among family and close friends. On average, someone with hearing loss may not seek care until seven years after noticing a problem.
Increased Risk of Falling
More than 800,000 hospitalizations a year are related to fall injuries in the US. This is just one of several new physical challenges that might come up for seniors with hearing loss.
Those who have untreated hearing loss are three times more likely to suffer from a fall versus those with healthier hearing, according to a 2015 study from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Institute of Aging.
Help is available for you or your loved ones with hearing loss. Now is a great time to protect your hearing by scheduling a hearing test, getting acquainted with an audiologist at Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery. To learn more about hearing protection or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, call Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery today.