Can You Hear Me Now?
Not hearing so well lately? Here is some great information on the signs and the causes of hearing loss.
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Nearly one in five Americans has some level of hearing loss.1, 2 It is the third most common chronic condition among older Americans.1, 2
Hearing loss can contribute to social isolation, higher risk of falls, depression and dementia. Seniors with severe hearing loss can have five times the risk of getting dementia as those with normal hearing.3 In addition, the brain loses its ability to hear when deprived of sound. Preserving hearing can help the brain perform at its best.4
It’s important to understand the signs and causes of hearing loss. That way, you can take charge of your hearing health.
Signs of Hearing Loss
You may suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from hearing loss. Watch for these signs:
- People complain that you turn the TV volume up too high
- You have trouble following conversations when more than one person is talking
- People seem to mumble or not speak clearly
- You have trouble hearing in noisy backgrounds
Causes of Hearing Loss
Aging is the most common cause of hearing loss. The inner ear can change over time and affect hearing. Other factors include:
- Exposure to loud noise
- Ear wax
- Auditory nerve damage from head injuries or tumors
- Changes in blood supply to the ear due to heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes
You can take steps to help prevent hearing loss. Here are some things you can do:
- Turn down the volume on your television, radio, phone, etc.
- Wear ear protection when you’re in noisy places or using loud equipment, like a lawn mower
- Get enough vitamins A, C and E, and N-acetylcysteine. This can help protect ear cells against free radicals generated by loud noise
Get Your Hearing Tested
The effects of untreated hearing loss are serious. You may have problems in your relationships with friends and family. Your overall health and quality of life can suffer.
It’s best to get help as soon as you notice signs of hearing loss. You can get a simple hearing test. It can help you decide whether you might need more help. Medicare Part B may cover hearing exams that your doctor orders.
1. Archives of Internal Medicine, Nov 14, 2011
3. Archives of Neurology, Feb 2011
4. The Journal of Neuroscience, Aug 31, 2011
–This information was provided by Medicare Made Clear
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