Age-related hearing loss can be an unsettling and frustrating condition to encounter. Medically, it’s referred to as presbycusis, and happens gradually as adults grow older. In the United States, one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 experience hearing loss with half of adults in that age group experiencing difficulty hearing. If you or a loved one is having trouble hearing during face-to-face conversation or over-the-phone communication, here are various treatment options.
The science community has not reached a consensus about preventing hearing loss. They have, however, discovered that it comes from many factors over a person’s lifetime, including high blood pressure, diabetes, types of medication, and various abnormalities in the outer or middle ear. Although it may not be preventable altogether, you should be aware of contributing environmental factors like loud noises from music, firearms, or lawnmowers. Wear ear plugs or ear muffs when encountering loud noises or do what you can to avoid loud environments.
There are many available treatment options for age-related hearing loss. The option that will be appropriate in your case depends on many factors, including the severity of your hearing loss.
- Hearing aids are the most common treatment for age-related hearing loss and the one that most people are familiar with. It’s an electronic device that is worn behind or over the ear. It makes sounds louder as the enter your ear. Not all hearing aids are effective for every individual. Because of this, you’ll likely have to try a few out before you find the most appropriate version for you. Inquire about the conditions of trial periods and continue to communicate with your hearing aid provider until you find a model that you are comfortable with. The styles include behind the ear, in the ear, in the canal, completely in the canal, and mini.
- Cochlear implants require surgery to place a small electronic device inside the inner ear. People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf use the device to achieve a sense of sound. This treatment is mostly recommended to people with severe hearing loss in one or both ears.
- Bone anchored hearing systems use the body’s natural ability to transfer sound with bone conduction. This treatment bypasses the ear canal and middle ear with a sound processor that picks up sound and converts it into vibrations. Those vibrations are then conducted through skull bone and into your inner ear.
- Assistive listening devices are systems that use apps and smartphones. These are not for personal use; instead you’ll find them in public spaces like museums, theaters, and other auditoriums.
Contact Bay Area Audiology Today for Your Hearing Evaluation!
If you are concerned about hearing loss or seeking hearing evaluations, tinnitus evaluations, or hearing aid assistance, our doctors are ready to help. We are passionate about helping all of our patients improve their quality of life through better hearing. We also believe that patient education is critical, so you won’t be lead through endless sales pitches at our office. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you hear even better, contact us at (410) 838-4327 or online. For more hearing tips and articles, follow Bay Area Audiology on Facebook,Twitter,Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.