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Hearing Loss in Golden Age

Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic conditions reported by elderly. The estimated prevalence of significant hearing impairment among people over the age of 65 is approximately 30 percent and among people over the age of 70 exceeds 50 percent. Because of the process is a gradual, person that having this problem may not realize their hearing is diminishing. The severity of hearing loss is varies among individual. Severity of hearing can be mild, moderate, severe or profound hearing loss.

Symptom

  • Unable to hear.
  • Difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say.
  • Difficulty following conversations when two or more people are talking simultaneously.
  • A man’s voice is easier to hear than the higher pitches of woman’s voice.
  • Ringing, roaring or buzzing sound in one or both ear.
  • Certain sounds seem annoying or overly loud.
  • Regularly feeling tired or stressed, due to having to concentrate closely while listening.

Causes

  • Damage in cochlear or auditory nerve due to gradual changes in the cochlear.
  • Loss of hair cells (sensory receptors in the cochlear).
  • Cumulative effect of repeated exposure to daily traffic, noisy workplace environment, loud music or equipment that produces noise.
  • Hereditary factors as well as aging, various health conditions and side effect of some medication
  • Changes in blood supply to the ear because of heart disease, hypertension, vascular disease or diabetes.
  • Conductive hearing loss caused by abnormalities in eardrum or three tiny ossicles bone that carry sound wave to the cochlea

Risk factor

  • Hereditary
  • Noise exposure
  • Used of ototoxic medication.
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking.
  • Atherosclerosis.
  • Ear infections

Causes

  • Depression, anxiety and loneliness.
  • Less socialize.
  • Isolation from public

Treatment

Hearing aid and assistive listening device
Problem in adjusting hearing aid

  • Difficulty to insert hearing aid properly
  • Noisy sound from hearing aid
  • Sounds are distorted
  • May hear the sound too loud

Rehabilitation

  • Face the person so that we can see speaker face.
  • Be sure lightning in front of you when you speak. This allows us to observe facial expressions, gestures, and lip and body movements that provide communication clues.
  • Rephrase the statement into shorter and simpler sentences.
  • Avoid from being in crowded or noisy area.

Prevention

  • Undergo hearing screening.
  • Avoid repeated exposure to loud noise and sound of any type.
  • Use hearing protectors in very noisy environment
  • Live a healthy lifestyle.
Last Review : 10 March 2014
Writer : Mazly Helmy bin Sulaiman
Accreditor : Nur Azyani bt. Amri