The Relationship Between Hearing Aids and Seniors

The Relationship Between Hearing Aids and Seniors


A hearing impairment is a tragedy as it diminishes a person’s quality of life. Old people are especially conducive to presbycusis, an age-related loss of hearing and one of the most common impairments affecting the elderly. According to a study made by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Category: Hearing Aid, Hearing Therapy, seniors, like younger folks, with hearing impairments could very well benefit from hearing aids.


Causes of presbycusis

In the United States, one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 experience hearing loss; however, nearly 50% of those older than 75 have hearing difficulty.

There are many causes accounting for this cumulative effect of aging on hearing:

(1) gradual loss of fine hair cells in the cochlea;

(2) exposure to high noise levels;

(3) changes occurring in the inner ear as one age;

(4) changes in the middle ear;

(5) complex changes along the nerve pathways from the ear to the brain; or

(6) certain medical conditions and from medications.  Simply stated, the cause is due to exposure to life!


Characteristics of age-related hearing loss

In most cases, both ears are equally impaired but there are cases when only one side is affected. This happens when one ear is injured; exposed to loud noises, or has a tumor-growth. In the elderly, hearing loss is gradual so its occurrence is seldom noticed. The impact is the realization that you are deaf!


Why Seniors rarely used hearing aids

Despite rampart deafness among the elderly, only around 20% purchased one while others feel that they are irrelevant. Many of the common reasons given for not trying or using a hearing aid do not have sense:

  1. The device will make the person look old since the present culture is obsessed on the youth;
  2. The device is too complicated for an elderly or he/she feels too old to adapt changes;
  3. It ruins a youthful appearance as it is obviously attached to the ear. The cosmetic- factor is relevant so new aids today are smaller and hardly seen on the ear;
  4. Unrealistic expectations that hearing aids cure deafness. But the device is not a cure but only an aid;
  5. Cost – As hearing aids are not covered by medical insurance and too expensive for the elderly who might be depending on his/her pension.


Hearing loss deprives you the joy of talking with family and friends; as a consequence, you feel isolated. But it is not the end of a normal life; as invention of hearing aids is man’s way to compensate losing one of his most important senses in old age or even before. If you learned that your aging loved one has this kind of impairment, persuade him/her that using hearing aids is the best option to hear again the sound of life.

If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure that you get a hearing aid prescription. Also note that the programs on these devices may be modified, but ask your ENT doctor first before making any changes. We are specialist of hearing test and assessment and offer professional hearing aid prescription.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing aid prescription

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HK Hearing & Speech Centre
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