Hearing Loss: Senior And Elderly SolutionsPosted on July 28, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Blog, Education, Hearing Loss, Independent Living, Senior Living
Don’t let poor hearing isolate you
By: Becky Huebner-Leu
About 63 percent of adults ages 70 and older have impaired hearing, according to studies, but only about a fifth of them are wearing a hearing aid.
There is a stigma, of course — the stigma associated with aging. And for many Americans, it’s probably a matter of denial.
Most age-related hearing loss affects sounds mainly in the higher frequencies. The consonants s, h and f are high frequency so that means that they become difficult for the person to distinguish. When they occur at the end of a word, it sounds very much as if people are mumbling … which they may very well be.
Would a hearing aid help?
The first step is to make sure that the hearing problem is not just impacted ear wax. Your next stop is your physician’s office. If there is no medical reason, such as a bacterial infection, ear drum damage or a tumor, your doctor will refer you to a good audiologist.
To protect consumers, the Food and Drug Administration requires patients to be examined by a physician, or sign a waiver, before acquiring a hearing aid.
The technology of hearing aids has advanced greatly, even over the past decade but certainly since the days of your parents or grandparents.
Older hearing aids merely amplified sound, making all sound louder. Newer ones are nearly all digital, driven by a computer chip that converts the incoming sounds into digital code that is analyzed, adjusted and then converted back into sound waves that are delivered to your ears.
Digital hearing aids can be programmed to meet your specific needs — amplifying only high frequency sounds, for example, and damping down background noise.
All hearing aids contain the same basic parts: a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver and a power supply. These comprise, in effect, a miniature sound system.
Related: Hearing Aids Can Be Expensive
Aids differ mainly in size and the way they’re placed in your ear. Some of the smallest ones are molded to fit entirely inside the ear canal, making them virtually invisible. Slightly bigger ones fit partially in the canal but not as deeply.
There are also half shell and full shell types for the outer ear that are more visible but easier to handle and adjust than the smaller models.
A hearing aid can never return your hearing to what it once was, and it may take several weeks to get used to it. But eventually, the hearing aid will become a natural part of you that you take for granted, like your eyeglasses. You’ll hear better, and you’ll be better able to take part in the world around you.
Published: Marshfield News Harold