Nearly 25% of those aged 65-74 and half of those older than 75 have disabling hearing loss.
Among adults ages 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30%) has ever used them. Even fewer (~16%) adults ages 20-69 who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them.
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is the loss of hearing that gradually occurs as a result of our body’s aging process. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults. There are many causes of age-related hearing loss. Most commonly, it arises from changes in the inner ear as we age, but it can also result from changes in the middle ear, from complex changes along the nerve pathways from the ear to the brain, or from the cumulative effects of long-term noise exposure. Hearing loss can also be caused by viral or bacterial infections, heart conditions or stroke, head injuries, tumors, and certain medicines, as well as continued and prolonged exposure to noise.
Age-related hearing loss most often occurs in both ears, affecting them equally. Because the loss is gradual, if you have age-related hearing loss you may not realize that you’ve lost some of your ability to hear.
Sources: NIDCD; NIH Senior Health; Hearing Health magazine, Summer 2015 issue.
Here’s to Healthy Aging
It took many years for me to try to come to terms with my untreated hearing loss. Finally, I refused to hide in corners of rooms and restaurants.
New Insights Into Age-Related Hearing Loss
One particular point of interest lies in the terminals of the SGC central branches (the auditory nerve synapses) that activate their target neurons in the brain.
Regular cardio for 20-30 minutes five times weekly is one key to maintaining a healthy auditory system.