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Aging is a journey, which can be challenging at times. Our bones become weaker, our vison declines. Even our memory starts to slow down. However, when we take the proper steps towards inevitable maintenance for our total health, we can continue to get the most out of life. This means the ability to get out, try new things and continue to connect to the relationships we’ve had forever, plus new ones too! Caring for your health as we age includes hearing health. One in three people over the age of 65 have hearing loss and this number jumps to half of all people after the age of 75. With this in mind, it’s important to screen for hearing loss regularly as we age. You may have a hearing loss and not even know it. However, the sooner you can diagnose and treat this condition, the sooner you can get back to doing what your truly love – getting the most out of life!

Hearing loss among older adults

Age related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is caused due to changes in the inner ear as we age. This can cause damage to the tiny hair-like cells of the inner ear, called stereocilia. Stereocilia collect audio vibrations and convert them into electrical impulses which can be interpreted by the audio cortex of the brain. This is where sounds are identified, and speech is processed. 


While hearing loss is common for those 50 years and older, it is often undiagnosed. This is due to the gradual nature in which presbycusis develops. At first it can interrupt subtle sounds and overtime, making it difficult to hear a whisper or the sound of the wind. Overtime, it can affect a person’s ability to hear parts of words and sentences. This can unweariedly make someone struggle to follow even casual conversations, and not know exactly why or how. However, even without knowing the cause, hearing loss doesn’t avoid affecting the relationships and communication throughout your life. 

What starts as subtle misunderstandings can build up into major rifts in relationships with longtime friends, family members and even your significant other. It can also have a sabotaging effect for those still in the workplace. 11% of the US workforce struggles with hearing loss, increasing the risk of unemployment, and the likeliness of lower earnings. The social impact at work and in your personal life can quicky cause lower self-esteem and a loss of confidence, leading to chronic depression and social anxiety. Even more alarming is the effect on cognitive health and physical safety. When you struggle to piece together parts of words and sentences, it requires your brain to work harder to piece everyday conversations and audio information together. As a result, those with even a moderate hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia. They are also twice as likely to suffer falls and accidents leading to hospitalization, as hearing loss also deprives many of the ability to be alert in their surroundings.


Because hearing loss is so difficult to diagnose, it can go untreated for years. The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These tiny electronic devices amplify sound you struggle with, so your brain can receive them with greater clarity. This treatment is monumental for connecting with others and maintaining cognitive and physical health. However, of those 69 and older, who could benefit from hearing aids, only 30 percent have ever tried them. This prevents so many from receiving the important care they need and deserve.

Knowing the Signs 

Since hearing loss can sneak up on you, it’s important to be aware of the signs:

  • difficulties speaking over the phone
  • Issues hearing people with higher pitched voices
  • You struggle to hear when background noise is present, including multiple conversations occurring at once. 
  • You need to turn up the TV louder than others, in order to hear.
  • You often ask others to repeat what they have said
  • You struggle with a persistent ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

Treating Hearing Loss with Our Team

If you have noticed these symptoms or someone close to you has pointed out that you may have a hearing loss, it’s important to take it seriously. Contact us to set up a hearing exam and we can help set up an action plan to have you age with grace.

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