Age related hearing loss? You aren’t alone!

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Hearing loss occurs in 1 in 6 of the population. And over half of those over the age of 60 will develop some form of hearing loss.

Presbycusis is the name for hearing loss which occurs due to the aging process. Typically it is a slow developing condition, that if often difficult to notice and affects both ears equally.

Indicators of age related hearing loss can include:
  • Voices seeming muffled
  • Difficulty hearing in noisy environments
  • Difficulty in understanding female voices compared to male ones
  • Hearing birdsong


Why is the loss of hearing so devastating?

The sense of hearing enables us, on a primitive level, to keep us in touch with what is going on around us. It is the ability to hear our own breath, our own footsteps, that there are people around us. Hearing provides us with a manner in which to be alerted to danger. For instance, police or ambulance sirens alert us to pull over in our cars. Smoke alarms inform us to leave a building. Most importantly hearing allows us to communicate easily with another person or gives us access to information via the television or radio.

When hearing is diminished so are our abilities to interact with the world. The psychological impact of deafness is one that infiltrates all aspects of our lives, and one that can illicit strong feelings of grief: anger, despair, bargaining, denial and depression.

Loss of employment, family breakdown, social isolation and a decline in mental health are reported side effects of becoming hard of hearing or deafened and recent research has shown that those with a hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia.

Hearing loss is not simply a lessening of volume, it can affect certain specific frequencies. Which can lead to accusations of “selective hearing” from friends and relatives. Why else could you hear your male friend ask if you would like to go to the pub, but not your wife ask you if you would like a cup of tea? It might be a case of the higher frequency and tones found in female voices are now the speech sounds that have been lost.

Audiologists agree that the sooner you take steps to address your hearing loss, the better.

What are your experiences of acquired hearing loss? Leave a comment as we’d like to know!






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