Hearing loss is the early or gradual decline in the ability of adults to hear and is one of the most common health problems affecting older adults.
Offering autonomy to the elderly is closely linked to offering a better quality of life. Those who suffer from hearing loss find it more difficult to function, which affects the self-esteem of the person who suffers from this sense of loss.
Cognitive impairment is strongly associated with depression, cognitive impairment, behavioral changes, decreased social activity, and impaired communication, among other related problems.
Therefore, in this article, we will talk about the causes, technological solutions, and emotional support to treat hearing loss in adults. Surely this information will be very useful to you!
Causes of hearing loss in adults:
The main cause of low hearing in older adults is age. The World Health Organization has presented statistics indicating that 1 in 3 people over 60 years of age and 1 in 2 over 80 years of age suffer from some degree of hearing loss.
These hearing problems occur because of internal damage to the ear, as mentioned above, which can be age-related or related to noise, as well as infections from viruses or bacteria or other health problems that affect the sense of hearing.
Thanks to advances in technology, amplification options range from hearing aids to cochlear implants. Each has a precise indication and offers a real solution if the selection is the most appropriate.
The technology has advanced a lot, allowing voices to be much clearer and noise can be automatically minimized by the device creating a sound balance through these different solutions.
Given the wide variety of hearing aids on the market, the decision should be based on the degree of hearing loss and the particular needs of the user. Once the devices have been adapted, an adaptation process is initiated by the user and re-adjustment and support by the audiologist.
An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses problems related to hearing loss and recommends appropriate treatments for these conditions.
It is vitally important that the family understands the process involved in the use of hearing aids and the limitations they have, even with the best devices.
While the devices will facilitate understanding and integration into conversations, they do not solve all hearing difficulties, nor do they restore normal hearing. For this reason, it is essential that the family actively participates and emotionally accompanies the process of providing greater quality to those who suffer from adult hearing loss.
Patients need their family’s understanding since this condition affects the way they function in society, which is why emotional support during the process of diagnosis and solution of hearing loss is vital.
The most common symptoms that will indicate you need an appointment with an audiologist are: difficulty understanding words, problems hearing consonants, asking people to constantly repeat what was said, avoiding taking part in conversations, among others.
There is no age limit for fitting hearing aids; hearing loss takes us away from people and greatly deteriorates their quality of life. Like every disease, early diagnosis is important in order to provide patients with adequate solutions.
If you have symptoms, go to a specialist, ask for more information by clicking here.
Dr. Patricia Castellanos de Muñoz
Founder and medical director of CEDAF audiology diagnosis and treatment Guatemala
Centro de Audición y Adiestramiento Fonético – CEDAF, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, Washington, American Academy of Audiology- AAA
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