Part 8- Management of Hearing Loss at Old Age

The normal hearing loss is very common with ageing. It starts by the age of 50 and by 60-70 year of age, everyone has some hearing loss. They occur because of the wear and tear of the hair cells present inside the ear (Cochlea). As the hearing cells deteriorate the auditory nerve impulses do not reach the brain. This is called Nerve deafness or Presbycusis. This can be aggravated due to repeated exposure to loud sounds – like loud music, power tools, and horns. Some medicines, genetic predisposition, stroke can also lead to faster loss of hearing. Nowadays hearing loss is a very common problem of old age. This loss of hearing with age is different from ear infections or hole in the eardrum.

  • Self-Management

Avoid loud music and exposure to high decibel sounds. Avoid infection of ears and treat them immediately. Get adjusted to louder sounds, as the loss is more. Use of hearing aids is very useful.

  • Medical Management

After a test called Audiometry and a consultation with the ear specialist (ENT Doctor), one must confirm that the loss of hearing is only due to ageing and not because of other treatable causes. Once it is established that this is an age-related phenomenon – hearing aids are the best treatment.
It is better to wear the aids in both ears simultaneously. Many older people are shy to use these aids because the other can see them – sleeker and almost invisible varieties of hearing aids are possible. The good quality ones do not cause humming sounds or unnecessary sounds.