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Dealing with hearing loss

Senior Health > Dealing with hearing loss

Once a taboo, hearing loss is now simply a fact of life for many seniors. Doctors and other healthcare providers report that more and more seniors are able to admit they cannot hear and get treatment. Perhaps it is because of new advances in dealing with hearing loss, but a University of Florida study indicated fewer seniors blaming their hearing problems on teens who do not speak clearly or adults who cannot enunciate. Instead, researchers claim, these seniors are taking responsibility for their medical condition and seeking treatment.

Seniors who believe they have a hearing loss can make an appointment with an audiologist or with their general practitioner for a first diagnosis. The doctors likely will perform a number of painless tests, having the elderly patient listen for certain tones and pitches to determine the extent of hearing loss. Once a practitioner concludes where a patient stands on hearing loss, he or she can prescribe a hearing aid, if needed. Seniors should take care of their hearing aids and should take care to learn to use them properly, being prepared to adjust volumes over the first few weeks until they become accustomed to the new sounds.

As for making the home a friendlier place for the hearing-impaired, there are a number of simple steps seniors can take. First, telephone manufacturers sell products intended to increase the sounds on the other end of the phone. Because one’s hearing aid may not work as well on the phone, a hearing-impaired senior should consider purchasing one of these devices to assist with phone calls. Second, seniors can look for doorbells or knockers that will provide a louder sound; making it less likely they will miss a visitor or be targeted by an intruder.

Seniors also can begin to practice up on reading lips. Especially with children, it may be beneficial to be able to watch the mouth and determine what someone is saying. Doing so can help the senior make the most of time with loved ones instead of feeling left out of the conversation. Elderly individuals should not be afraid to ask others to repeat themselves either. Most people gladly oblige if they know you have difficulty hearing them. Again, dealing with one’s hearing loss helps seniors feel as if they are continuing to live their lives with only normal adjustments.

Senior Health > Dealing with hearing loss