Middleton, WI - February 19, 2013
Hearing loss can be scary, even though it’s often a slow and subtle process. A gradual decline may leave people confused or in denial about whether it’s actually happening to them. After all, the aging process feels more real when you have to add a battery for hearing aid to the grocery list. Sometimes hearing loss in the elderly is camouflaged or intermingled with cognitive decline. This makes it difficult for caregivers to judge whether it really is time to schedule a trip to the audiologist. But hearing loss isn’t exclusive to the very old; the process can actually start as early as childhood (though 30 percent of adults over the age of 60 do experience it). If you think you or someone you love may be experiencing hearing loss, here are 8 signs to watch for:
- Has difficulty following conversations involving two or more people
- Frequently requests repetition in conversations
- Says people sound muffled or like they’re mumbling
- Has difficulty hearing in noisy environments like restaurants or malls
- Withdraws from social situations
- Has a family history of hearing loss
- Has ringing in the ears
- Watches people’s lips and face more intently during conversation
If the signs are there, don’t put off a trip to the audiologist. According to Brandeis University, hearing loss has shown to be associated with short-term memory loss – because the energy needed to hear becomes so cognitively taxing. The National Council on Aging has found that untreated hearing loss also leads to social withdrawal, depression, stress, fatigue, and anxiety.
The science of hearing aids has made great leaps over the decades. Judging by more than one type of battery for hearing aid use – hearing aid battery 10, 13, 312, 675 – there is some real variety in the equipment available. And so often, a good hearing aid can bring the world back to the individual, helping them rediscover a world filled to the brim with rich and vibrant sound.