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A Guide to Gradual Hearing Loss

senior in blue shirt holding hand to ear

Noise, aging, sickness and genetics can all contribute to gradual hearing loss. Conversations with friends and relatives can be difficult for those with hearing loss, as well as hearing doorbells and alarms.

Gradual hearing loss affects one in three adults ages 65-74, and nearly half of those ages 75 and up. But some people may deny their problem because they don’t understand how many treatments are available to make daily interactions easier.

People who can't hear properly may become depressed or withdraw from others due to frustration or embarrassment. While hearing loss can cause older adults to appear confused, unresponsive or uncooperative.

Ignored or untreated hearing issues can worsen. Consult your hearing care professional if you have hearing loss. Treatments ranging from hearing aids to aural rehabilitation can make conversating enjoyable again.

Gradual Hearing Loss

Gradual hearing loss can be difficult to self-diagnose because it occurs so slowly over time that many individuals don’t even realize they have it. There are several contributing factors to developing this condition, ranging from exposure to loud noises or simply aging. Getting prompt treatment is critical to helping preserve remaining hearing ability, as well staying engaged in the world around you.

Hearing Loss Signs

Some people have undiagnosed hearing loss. See a hearing health specialist if you:

  • Have issues hearing on the phone
  • Have trouble following conversations in group settings
  • Constantly turn up the TV
  • Think others are mumbling
  • Can't comprehend women or young children

Living With Gradual Hearing Loss

In order to get the treatment you deserve, it’s crucial that you identify when to get help. Living with gradual hearing loss doesn’t have to be frustrating. To better advocate for your condition, don’t be afraid to:

  • Admit you have a hearing issue.
  • Ask folks to face you and speak slowly.
  • Ask them to speak loudly but not yell.
  • Focus on the words and facial expressions.
  • If you don't comprehend what someone is saying, tell them.

When in doubt about your hearing, get expert help. Hearing care professionals are trained to identify hearing loss and recommend the best treatments for your particular set of needs and preferences.

Hearing Aid Devices

If hearing loss is detected, your hearing professional may recommend hearing aids. These amplify sounds in an intelligent way – helping you to hear what you need and blocking out distracting background noise. Hearing aids come in a variety of different styles, allowing you to find the solution that is most suitable for you.

The most common hearing aids recommended by a specialist include:

  • Behind the ear (BTE)
  • In the ear (ITE)
  • In the canal (ITC)
  • Invisible in canal (IIC)
  • Completely in canal (CIC)

In addition to several styles, you can also have your device equipped with various features. Things like Bluetooth, noise cancelation and directional microphones enable the hearing aid wearer to tailor their experience.

Ensure your hearing loss doesn’t worsen and you get the help you need. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care provider today!