Comfort Keepers Private Duty Home Caregivers in Sheboygan, WI: How Hearing Loss Can Impact Senior Citizens
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According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) age is by far the strongest cause of hearing loss that is not congenital. In fact, private duty home caregivers will tell you that the sector of the population with the greatest percentage of hearing loss is people between 60 and 69 years of age.
Overall, only about 2 percent of the adult population between 45 and 54 is deaf, meaning they have disabling hearing loss. The number rises to over 8% for people between 55 and 64. It increases even further to as much as 25% for people that are up to 74-years-old and 50% for people that are older than that.
This means that hearing loss is a major issue in the senior community. Private duty home caregivers warn that many people believe that this condition is no big deal, it can very much so impact other aspects of an individual's overall health. Studies have shown that there are much higher levels of severe depression among people with hearing loss. Women are particularly hit hard by hearing loss when it comes to depression, according to a study published in the JAMA Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery journal. According to another study that was published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, hearing loss can even lead to lower levels of cognitive functioning.
The most common type of hearing loss that affects the senior population is presbycusis. Private duty home caregivers say that this type of hearing loss is considered to be caused by age and it is irreversible. What happens with presbycusis is that tiny inner ear hairs die off as an individual ages. These hairs unfortunately do not go back, leaving seniors with permanent hearing loss.
Private duty home caregivers know that there are a number of factors that contribute to age-related hearing loss. Loud music, smoking, too much earwax, medications, and even viruses can wear down our hearing apparatus over time, leading to permanent hearing loss.
Although there is no cure for hearing loss, many seniors benefit from hearing aids. Many also install devices that amplify sound around their house to help them better navigate their living space.
Some seniors decide to undergo surgery to implant an electronic hearing aid called a cochlear implant. This is an option for very severe hearing loss only and is not considered a cure.
Other seniors decide to learn sign language. Doing so can actually be beneficial in a number of other ways. Learning a new language after 50 has been shown to significantly lover a person's chance of developing dementia.