You can’t always be there. But we can.
There is a lot to learn about hearing loss in the elderly. The first thing to know is that if your loved one is experiencing hearing loss, they may have difficulty hearing when on the phone, can’t follow along with conversations, have difficulty understanding what people are saying, and more. You might even need to hire a home care services provider to help your loved one out.
Hearing Loss Types
There are different kinds of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss are the two types. The sensorineural hearing loss happens when there is nerve damage to the inner ear or to nerves that send sound to one’s brain. This is often caused by loud exposure to noise, infection, tumors, or an injury to the ear. Conductive hearing loss happens when sound waves are blocked. Usually, this will affect only one ear. It is generally caused by a blown eardrum, excessive ear wax build-up, ear infections, and diseases of the ear. This can be restored or corrected in most cases.
Options for Treatment
If your elderly loved one has hearing loss, it is important that they get the proper treatment. You should speak with their doctor or have their home care services provider speak to their doctor about their hearing loss. They can run tests to see what the cause of the hearing loss is and what can be done about it. If it is due to an infection, antibiotics might be needed. Sometimes the issue may be a tumor or trauma to the ear. In these cases, surgery might be needed to repair the damage that has been done. In cases where the issue can’t be repaired, things like cochlear implants or other hearing devices may be needed.
Living with the Hearing Loss
It can be difficult to live with hearing loss. However, you should know there are many great devices that can help your loved one to live with hearing loss. There are also things that can be done to help your loved one to hear better. Have them let you know they need you to speak louder, in one ear over the other, or standing closer to them. You may also encourage them to learn to lip read. If they know how to lip read, you can face them directly when you are talking and other can do the same.
These are some of the ways of handling hearing loss and how your loved one can learn to live with it. Be sure to try and be as understanding as possible with your loved one. Struggling with hearing loss can be scary and frustrating. Your loved one may feel as if they are losing a part of themselves.