Hearing loss is the third most frequent medical problem in the United States, affecting 20% of Americans. While hearing loss can affect anyone at any age, it disproportionately affects the elderly in the United States. Hearing loss affects one out of every three persons between the ages of 65 and 74, 50 percent of people between 75 and 84, and 80 percent of those over 85.

Acquired hearing loss can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Noise-induced hearing loss, which develops over time due to exposure to loud noise, is one of the most common causes. Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, is another common kind of acquired hearing loss. According to Dr. Justin S. Golub, age-related hearing loss is frequently misdiagnosed and undertreated. He claims that only one out of every five persons will seek treatment for age-related hearing loss, a statistic that hasn't altered in over 40 years.

We'll look at age-related hearing loss, how to recognize the early indicators, and why you should seek treatment in this article.

Age-related hearing loss

A type of sensorineural hearing loss, age-related hearing loss, comes from damage to the inner ear structures. A large number of microscopic hair cells can be found deep inside your inner ear. These cells are in charge of converting sound waves into neural signals, which are then sent to your brain to be recognized as sound.

These inner ear hair cells no longer function as well after so many years. Inner ear hair cells degrade and do not regenerate due to the natural aging process. As a result, sound impulses may become scrambled and not reach the brain quickly and accurately.

Age-related hearing loss can be pretty harmful to your general health and well-being if left untreated for a long time.

Consequences of untreated hearing loss

While it may not appear that your social life, cognitive talents, and hearing abilities have much in common, they do! Untreated age-related hearing loss makes communication difficult, and as a result, people avoid social situations in which they must converse and engage with friends and loved ones. This social isolation, especially in older persons, may raise the risk of dementia over time.

In the same way, untreated hearing loss hurts our cognitive ability. According to research from Johns Hopkins University, people with untreated hearing loss are more likely to acquire dementia due to the cognitive load required by the brain to make sense of messy sound signals. As a result of the increased cognitive load, the brain's emphasis on other activities is diverted, and people may experience concentration and memory problems and diminished cognitive ability.

How to tell if you have age-related hearing loss

Hearing loss manifests itself in subtle ways, and as a condition, it progresses slowly over time. If you think others are mumbling or if you have trouble hearing speakers' voices above background noise, you may have a hearing loss. If you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves or turning up the volume on your devices to the maximum without success, you may have hearing loss.

A hearing test will prove beyond doubt

Hearing doctors recommend that persons over the age of 50 begin having annual hearing examinations. Though a hearing loss is less likely to be discovered at this time, it's still crucial to maintain track of your hearing abilities and examine your hearing health every year. Hearing loss usually occurs gradually, and we learn to alter our actions to compensate for it. As a result, many people are unaware that they have a hearing loss until it is too late.

You'll be more likely to notice any changes in your hearing if you schedule an annual hearing test early on. People wait an average of seven years from the time they first notice abnormalities in their hearing to seek treatment for hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. You'll be able to seek treatment as soon as possible if you get an annual hearing test, which will have a substantial impact on your general health and well-being.

Make an appointment with us

Hearing tests are non-invasive, painless, and quick. There's no excuse to suffer from untreated hearing loss as you become older. Contact us today to book a hearing test!