Hearing is one of our basic senses and is important in terms of communication in which most people fail to realize by the time they begin to lose their hearing.
Some facts below shows how important it is for elderly to go for hearing check-up before any serious losses occur:
1) According to WHO (2012), it is estimated that there are about 350 million people suffering from hearing loss worldwide.
2) 95% of them are adults, mainly the elderly as they have the highest prevalence of hearing impairment due to the strong correlation between aging and hearing loss.
3) The graph below shows the prevalence of hearing loss in the United States based on age. To summarize, 1 out of 3 elderly above 65 years old suffer from hearing loss.
The impacts of hearing loss in elderly are devastating. Below are the top 5 reasons why an elderly (60 years and above) should go for hearing test:
1) Loss of hearing often goes unnoticed and ignored. It may be too late when one realizes about his/her hearing loss and goes deaf. The person facing hearing problems may be able to recognize sounds but will not be able to distinguish the correct words and sentences.
2) Hearing loss can result in communication breakdown which can lead to other issues. A person with hearing loss may be paranoid and suspicious of another person’s intentions and motives. In addition, they will either be highly alert or careless about their surroundings.
3) A person with hearing problem will also face communication problems with their family and friends. Both speaker and listener will be lead into confusion when communicating and soon their relationship will be affected.
4) Hearing loss can lead to Dementia along with Alzheimer disease indirectly. Without hearing sounds, it can weaken the ear cells and will reduce the input to brain, therefore decreasing the alertness to the surrounding. A study reveals that people with hearing problems often struggle hard to focus on the surrounding which disrupts a section of the brain which is for memory, hence causing Dementia.
5) Hearing loss has proven to increase the risk of fall. According to USNews.com, “People with a 25-decibel hearing loss (classified as mild) were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling than those with no hearing loss. Lack of sound awareness from the surrounding also increased the chance of car accident for people with moderate hearing loss or more.”
Ms. Alleya Cheng