According to the National Institute on Aging, approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease.older man having hearing test
 
Studies have shown that cognitive abilities, including memory and concentration, decline faster in older adults with hearing loss than in older adults with normal hearing. Recent research suggests that older adults with hearing loss have a greater risk of developing dementia than older adults with normal hearing.
 
People with hearing loss may find it hard to have conversations with friends and family. They may also have trouble understanding a doctor’s advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells and alarms.
 
Signs that you have a problem with your hearing include:
 
  • Having to ask people to repeat themselves.
  • People sound like they’re mumbling when they talk to you.
  • You have difficulty hearing what people are saying in a crowded restaurant or room. Hearing loss is more pronounced in social situations where there is an increase in background noise.
  • Listening to the TV at a high volume.older men on bench talking
  • Hearing a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears (tinnitus).

If you notice signs of hearing loss, talk to your doctor. If you have trouble hearing, you should:
 
  • Let people know you have a hearing problem.
  • Ask people to face you and speak more slowly and clearly. Also, ask them to speak at a higher volume without shouting.
  • Let the person talking know if you do not understand what he or she said.
  • Ask people to repeat themselves. There may be times when you can't understand what someone is saying. It's okay to ask them to repeat themselves.
  • Find a good location to listen. Place yourself between the speaker and sources of noise and look for quieter places to talk.
older man having hearing testAnyone experiencing hearing loss should have their hearing checked and treated. Not only will it make it much easier to communicate with friends and loved ones and continue to participate in the many everyday activities that require hearing, but it could help avoid or delay the onset of dementia.

If you suspect some degree of hearing loss, contact the Pennsylvania Ear Institute. Our expert audiologists will assess your hearing and make recommendations on how to address your hearing needs. For more information on PEI’s services or to make an  appointment, call 215.780.3180.