Hearing problems should be a cause of concern for many older adults. In fact, studies have shown that nearly 30 million adults aged 50 years old and above have troubles hearing.
For many of these people, the hearing loss occurs so gradually that they don’t even know they have the condition. Others realize that their ears aren’t working well one day, and the functioning well the next morning.
If you are in your 50s, you should watch out for these four elder hearing problems common in your age group:
This is a type of gradual hearing loss that happens as a result of the death of hair cells in the inner ear (cochlea). These are the cells that are responsible for translating sound vibrations into brain signals. This usually happens to people who have been exposed to frequent loud noises when they were younger.
One way to tell if you have this condition is when you have problems hearing peope in a noisy restaurant.
Eustachian tube dysfunction happens when excess mucus from an allergy or infection blocks the small canal that connects the throat to the middle ear. The Eustachian tube regulates airflow especially when a person yawns or swallows. This type of hearing problem is characterized by a feeling of fullness in the ears.
Sudden hearing loss can be due to a virus or ear infection that caused swelling or fluid breakup in the ears. It can affect hair cells and nerves, resulting to the hearing loss. This can be caused by taking high doses of medications like diuretics, antibiotics, aspirin, and chemotherapy drugs. Loss of hearing brought about by use of certain drugs (the condition is called ototoxicity) requires change in medication.
If you notice hearing loss that fluctuates with bouts of dizziness, nausea, and trouble with balance, then you can have this disorder with no known cause. It is believed to alter the amount and flow of the endolymph a fluid found in the inner ear.
While it can’t be cured, the condition may be treated. Doctors usually prescribe a low-sodium diet and diuretic to help in reducing the fluid in the inner ear.
It is important that you take note of the symptoms of these common hearing problems so that you can see an ENT specialist immediately once you experience any of the said symptoms.
If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure that you get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.
HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,
and Hearing Aid Prescription