Aging is an inevitable process that comes with many changes. While you may give great life advice or are enjoying long retirement days, your hair may also transition into snow grey or your vision may not be as sharp.
And let’s face it, you may not hear as well as you used to. For many people, hearing health and hearing loss prevention are the last of all worries – but they shouldn’t be. Hearing loss directly impacts the aging community, with approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 diagnosed with the condition.
By 2030, all baby boomers will be older than 65, meaning one in every five U.S. residents will be of retirement age – a prime time for hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to other serious conditions, like decreased balance and dementia. Not being able to hear can also impact communication with the outside world, as well as with loved ones and friends. This decrease in communication can ultimately cause social isolation, which can lead to depression.
Another common issue is ‘tinnitus’, where you hear ringing or a constant buzzing. For most people, their eyes may produce a slight buzzing noise when exposed to high volumes or sounds. The ringing in this case comes from the cochlea. Frequent exposure to loud volumes can lead to persistent problems in the cochlea’s nerve activity. Chronic ear ringing is known as tinnitus and can cause much frustration and difficulty for the person facing it.
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Leslie P. Soiles, Chief Audiologist for Campaign for Better Hearing and Chief Audiologist for HearingLife, offers these three tips to help manage hearing loss as you age:
Lead with a healthy lifestyle by not smoking
Research shows that smokers are approximately 60 percent more likely to experience high-frequency hearing loss than non-smokers.
Protect your ears and wear hearing protection
Going the extra mile and protecting your ears with earplugs in the presence of loud noises is very important to preserving your hearing.
Schedule a yearly hearing test
Those 60 and over should schedule yearly assessments at hearing health centers, like HearingLife, to determine how well they can hear.