The more a person gets older, the more their hearing ability tends to decrease. It is not just some stereotype, it is true in most cases. When a person keeps getting older, the hearing cells in their inner ear keep getting damaged. The hair-like hearing cells can get damaged due to many different factors, but old age seems to do a number on them. And if someone’s hearing cells get damaged, their hearing ability reduces to some degree. It can range from mild to severe. So, it is really common among elderly people to have hearing loss problems.
Hearing loss problems that are caused due to old age can be really gradual. It can’t be felt at first, but after it increases to a higher degree, the symptoms become more obvious, and the hearing loss problems become more clear. Whenever an elderly person starts going through hearing loss problems, they begin to show certain signs. If these signs can be detected as soon as possible, treatment can be started soon and the problems can be reduced to a minimum level by increasing their hearing ability and taking care of their hearing health. Some signs an elderly person might show if they are going through hearing loss problems are-
Asking For Repetition
They will ask to repeat lines frequently while making conversations with other people.
An elderly person that is going through hearing loss problems might mishear or misinterpret things while talking to someone. As many words sound similar in English, it is not surprising that an elderly person with such problems won’t be able to differentiate between certain words.
Turning Up The Volume
An elderly person with hearing loss problems might try to compensate for the lost hearing ability by turning up the volume of the TV while they are watching something on it. The same thing might happen while using their mobile phones or listening to music. Also, they might resort to subtitles or captions while watching something, as they might find it more comforting to read instead of listening to the dialogues.
Missing Conversation in Busy Environment
In places that are normally really busy such as restaurants and shopping malls, elderly people with hearing loss problems can have difficulties following any conversation in them. Most voices might mix with the ambiance sound and their reduced hearing ability can’t detect the sound of the conversation, and they hear them like a humming.
Struggling to Hear Children and Women
The voices of children and women are quieter and softer, and high-pitched. An old person with hearing loss problems might find it really difficult to listen to high-pitched sounds, as the hearing cells in the cochlea are really important for hearing high-pitched sounds.
What To Do To Assist The Elderly With Their Hearing Loss Problems
Whenever an old person starts facing hearing loss problems, they might be provided certain assistance so that they can properly get on with their lives. At first, they must pay visits to an audiologist and then take measures based on their prescriptions. Based on that, the elderly need to provide some special assistance. These are-
Projecting The Voice
While talking to an elderly person with hearing loss problems, try projecting your voice as much as possible. And try increasing the voice gradually to a sufficient level instead of start shouting suddenly.
Slowing Down and Enunciating
While talking to them, it is better if you can slow down instead of speaking really quickly. It will help them to understand better what you are saying.
Facing The Senior
Try talking face to face with the elderly person with hearing loss so that it can help them to hear better. It even helps persons with perfect hearing to hear better while talking face to face. Also, it helps the person with hearing loss to read the lips of the person that’s talking to them. This will also help them to keep the attention towards you.
While talking to them, you might need to repeat certain words so that they can hear them properly. Don’t feel annoyed by this, instead, make sure that they are joining more and more conversations.
Making Them Use Hearing Aids
Apart from behavioral assistance, there are some measures that can be taken to help them with their hearing ability and hearing health. One such measure can be using hearing aids of different types. Hearing aids are specifically made to enhance the sound for people with hearing loss, and also filter the unwanted sounds that their ears can’t do by themselves anymore. Making sure that elderly people with hearing loss use their hearing aids while making conversations, or watching something can help them a lot to listen better, and get on with their lives in a way better way. Cochlear implants can be another option too.
Elderly people that are going through hearing loss problems will need proper assistance from others, and it is our duty to provide them with that. So that they can have a comfortable and beautiful life.