As we get older, we expect to have to deal with changes in the body. We watch our skin become less firm and exhibit more wrinkles, we watch our hair slide from rich colors into gray and white. We see the opticians more than usual because our eyes just aren't seeing as clearly as we are used to seeing.

Changes happen, but if there is one thing that often gets left behind, it's hearing loss. It can be so gradual over the course of our lives that we don't actually notice it slowly disappearing, and by the time you realize that you are having a hard time hearing, you feel like you can't ask for help because you are used to the decline. It's not easy to handle, and age-related hearing loss goes untreated for this reason.

By the time we retire, we've got a high chance of experiencing some level of hearing loss, and it can affect your quality of life as well as your health. Understanding why age-related hearing loss so often goes untreated is important if you want to understand more about how hearing loss changes as we age.

What is age-related hearing loss?

As many as 30% of adults over 65 experience hearing loss to some degree, and when people reach 75, 50% of adults have hearing loss. As you age, your physical abilities decline and your hearing isn't exempt to this. You'll one day have a harder time climbing the stairs, and age-related hearing loss is the same way. Your ears experience as much wear and tear as everywhere else in the body.

When this wear and tear happens, ears stop hearing all of the sounds the way in which you did before. Some of the hair cells in the inner ear can become damaged over time, and this damage is irreversible. This means that the hearing loss you are experiencing is going to be permanent – which is why it often goes untreated. This damage is gradual and it's more common than you think! Half of all seniors have hearing loss, but it's untreated for longer than is necessary.

Signs of age-related hearing loss

There are several signs that you are experiencing hearing loss related to your age, and some of those symptoms include:

  • Difficulty with conversation in noisy environments: When you are trying to talk to people you love and the background noise is loud, you should still be able to filter out the noise and hear them – but when you are experiencing hearing loss, you often can't.
  • You can't hear someone speaking to you from across the room: Similarly, to the above, you should be able to filter out the noise around you to hear conversations across the noise. If you can't hear someone speaking to you from across the room, there may be some hearing loss there.
  • You're asking everyone to repeat themselves: Whether on the phone or in person, you're asking people to say things again and again.
  • The devices in your home are turned up to maximum level because you can't hear them at a regular level. Even at the top level, you're struggling!
  • The alarm clock, the food timer, those softer noises in the house? Those no longer exist to you! Quiet sounds seem to be filtered out now because your hearing doesn't work to catch them anymore.

Getting some help

Age-related hearing loss is often, noticed by family and friends first before you notice it in yourself. You'll call an audiologist to have your hearing tested, but the most important thing that you can do is listen when your family tells you that something is wrong.

If you have had someone approach you to ask you whether you can hear them, take it seriously. Your hearing ability matters, and it could be the first sign that you are experiencing age-related hearing loss. If you don't treat your hearing loss, you're going to discover how easy it is to become isolated.

Untreated hearing loss can make it very difficult to maintain your social life, to interact with your family and it can lead to some negative health outcomes. When you can't hear clearly, life becomes confusing and it takes far more energy to have meaningful conversations when you are straining to hear.

Treating age-related hearing loss

Are you ready to go ahead and get your age-related hearing loss treated? When you are ready, an appointment with an audiologist at Baker Audiology & Hearing Aids is the way to go. Treating hearing loss should be the priority for you if you are concerned, and all you need to do to get started is call us today at (605) 610-3466.