It’s no mystery that adults gradually start losing their hearing as they age. Age-related hearing loss is actually a normal condition that affects almost all older adults.
According to the National Institute on Deafness, approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Having trouble hearing can make it hard to understand and follow a doctor's advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms. It can also make it hard to enjoy talking with friends and family
A natural breakdown of the nerve cells within the inner ear is the reason for most age-related hearing loss. Sound continues to travel to the inner ear, but because the nerve cells are not as numerous or as strong as they once were, sound is not heard as clearly as it once was.
Another cause of hearing loss in older adults can be attributed to subtle but progressive changes in the eardrum or to the bones of the middle ear. When changes occur in these areas, it affects how sound travels through the ear and this can result in the sound being diverted away from the inner ear.
Certain medical conditions common with the aging process can also impact one’s ability to hear. These can include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and other problems pertaining to poor blood circulation.
Most people with hearing loss aren’t even aware that they have it because it occurs so gradually. In most cases, those who have it will start showing signs of an inability to hear sounds at a reasonable level.
The only way to truly determine the state of hearing loss is to have your hearing tested by your doctor.