Hearing conditions and cognitive decline

Hearing loss: an age common condition

This is the most common form of hearing loss and occurs when the tiny hair cells in the inner ear are damaged or when the hearing pathways to the inner ear become damaged.

Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by a wide range of conditions but most commonly by the natural ageing process which accounts for around 90% of this type of hearing loss. It affects 1 in 7 over the age of 65. Changes in your hearing as you get older are normal, if you’re concerned about your hearing, help and support from your local Amplifon clinic is never too far away. We offer a variety of different hearing aid solutions that can help make hearing the things around just a bit clearer.

 

Hearing loss in elderly people occur at around the age of 70 and is a very common thing. Inevitable age related hearing loss might be a daunting thing to think of, but today sensorineural hearing loss treatment options are easily accessible. But, if untreated, hearing impairment due to old age may result to cognitive decline. This means that because you can’t hear clearly, your brain is made to work even harder just to make sense of what you’re hearing, harming the brain. 

Sensorineural Hearing Loss in elderly

Some of the causes are:

  • Age: gradual deterioration in hearing across both ears in high pitched sounds
  • Traumatic exposure to loud noise: this could be permanent or temporary. This may be a sudden very loud sound or repated exposure to high level sounds
  • Head injury: this can cause trauma to the cochlea and nerves in the ear
  • Viral infections of the inner ear and auditory nerve
  • Some drug treatments
  • Family history

There are various causes that the onset of hearing loss in elderly is attributed to. Half of the reasons are internal, or biological and the other half being external.

Internal causes

Internal causes for age related hearing loss include:

  • Damaged inner ear structures
  • Irregular flow of blood to the ears
  • Auditory nerve damage 
  • Altered cognition of speech and sound
  • Irregularities in tiny ear hairs 
  • Diabetes
  • Side effects of medicine 
  • Genetics
  • Effects of smoking

External Causes

External factors that attribute to loss of hearing in old age are as follows:

  • Constant exposure to loud noises such as heavy machinery on construction sites
  • Use of headphones with on high volume levels
  • Attending loud concerts

Preventing old people hearing conditions

There is no known way to prevent experiencing hearing loss in old age. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to mitigate its severity such as:

  • Steering clear of exposing yourself to loud sounds over long periods of time
  • Bring earplugs to avoid ear damage when loud noises can’t be avoided
  • Be careful not to acquire diabetes as hearing loss can be worsened if paired with the condition

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