Understanding and Coping with Age-Related Hearing Loss

Senior gentlemen talking to his hearing impairment old friend, health problems

In This Article

Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is something many seniors experience. In fact, about 1 in every 3 people over 65 faces this challenge. Conversations might become tiring and a bit overwhelming. But there’s a bright side – while there’s no cure yet, there are plenty of ways to cope and still thrive!

Hearing aids can be a big help, along with support from family and friends. Tweaking your surroundings to better suit your hearing needs can also make a world of difference. With these adjustments, you can continue living a joyful and engaged life, full of rich conversations and connections. Remember, you’ve got this, and there’s a whole community ready to support you!

What Is the Cause of Hearing Loss in Seniors?

Senior man with hearing problems

Hearing loss in seniors often stems from natural changes in our ears as we age. It can also be influenced by:

  • Changes in the inner ear structure due to aging
    Long-term exposure to loud noises
    Hereditary factors that contribute to hearing loss
    Health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes
    Certain medications that can impact hearing as a side effect

Embracing a healthy lifestyle and being mindful about protecting your ears from loud noises can effectively manage hearing loss as you age. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your hearing. While we might not be able to stop hearing loss completely, these positive steps can slow it down and help you maintain a vibrant, fulfilling life.

Remember, staying proactive about your hearing health is a great way to keep enjoying all the wonderful sounds life has to offer.

What Are the Symptoms of Presbycusis?

Age-related hearing loss often manifests in subtle ways, like:

  • Struggling to hear things like doorbells or birdsong
  • Feeling that voices sound unclear or blend together, especially where there’s background noise
  • Finding yourself asking people to repeat themselves or speak louder
  • Increasing the volume more than you used to on devices like TVs or radios
  • Having trouble keeping up with group conversations or discussions with several people

Who Do I Talk to if I Experience Hearing Loss?

Audiologist or ENT doctor use otoscope checking ear of asian senior woman patient treating hearing loss problem

Catching age-related hearing loss early can be tricky, as it often happens slowly over a long period. There’s usually no sudden change in hearing ability. If you recognize any of the signs mentioned, it’s a good idea to chat with your care manager or physician.

Care Manager or Family Member

For age-related hearing loss, a care manager, caregiver, or family member can be the first point of contact. They might suggest over-the-counter hearing aids from a pharmacy as a starting point. If this doesn’t help, or if other symptoms arise, they can guide you to see a physician.

Generally, seniors should have preventive care screenings regularly. Not only is it a great chance to bring up some issues, like hearing problems, but also help prevent them in the first place.


A physician will conduct an exam to accurately diagnose the cause of your hearing loss. If it’s age-related, they can recommend appropriate treatment. For more complex conditions, they may refer you to an otolaryngologist (ENT specialist) or an audiologist, professionals who specialize in ear and hearing issues.

Don’t worry, if it turns out to be age-related, there are many ways to enhance your hearing. And if it’s due to another cause, getting a proper diagnosis and treatment promptly is important.

Recognizing and — most importantly — asking for help is the best way to solve the problem.

How to Live With Hearing Loss
Asian senior woman patient using hearing aid in ear to reduce hearing loss problem

Talk to Family and Friends

When you have hearing loss, chatting with loved ones gets easier if they know how to help. Just tell them simple things like speaking up a bit, looking at you when they talk, and saying their words nice and clear. This way, you can read their lips and catch every word.

Letting your family and friends know about your hearing challenges makes spending time together smoother and more enjoyable. And don’t be shy to ask for this help – it’s all about making your conversations cheerful and stress-free!

Use Hearing Devices

Hearing aids for seniors and other listening gadgets can make a big difference.

Custom-fit hearing aids or prescription hearing aids from a doctor are made just for your ears, while the ones you buy without a prescription are more general but still helpful. Devices like special phones make sounds louder and clearer, so you don’t miss a beat.

These tools are fantastic for keeping you in the loop with family chats, your favorite shows, and more.

Avoid Loud Places

If it’s hard to hear, super noisy spots can make it tougher. So, it’s a good idea to hang out in quieter places where you can hear and enjoy conversations better. This way, you can relax and have a great time without the hustle and bustle.

Mental Health and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss in seniors can have more than just physical effects; it can impact mental health too.

When it gets tough to follow what’s being said, you might feel a bit out of the loop. This can lead to feeling lonely and sometimes down. Plus, it’s pretty tiring always trying hard to hear, which can be stressful.

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that hearing loss in seniors can affect their minds and social life. It finds that when it’s hard to hear, seniors might talk less with others and have to work harder mentally to understand sounds. This extra effort can lead to a quicker decline in how well their brain works.

Realizing these challenges is the first step in handling them.

With support from your family, friends, and maybe a hearing aid, you can stay active and happy in your conversations. The same study suggests that hearing aids might even help keep your mind sharper and possibly lower the risk of things like dementia. It’s all about making adjustments that let you keep enjoying life’s chats and laughter.

We’re Here For You At 12 Oaks Communities

At 12 Oaks Communities, we’re deeply committed to understanding and meeting the ever changing needs of seniors. Our 24/7 personal care staff is highly trained and ready to assist you in every way possible.

If you’re seeking more information about hearing loss in the elderly or have any other concerns, we’re here to help.

At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.

For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a visit.

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