Age-Related Hearing Loss and You

Our world is rich in sound. From the melodic whistling of a field sparrow to the soft, low-pitched but unmistakable sound of a cat purr to the obnoxious chirping of a smoke alarm, every sound we perceive in our daily life feeds our brain vital information regarding our environment.


As we get older, our ability to hear certain environmental and speech sounds diminishes due to the natural decline of our hearing system. More specifically, these changes can occur due to the deterioration in the structures of the inner ear such as damage to the tiny hairs in the ear that are responsible for transmitting sound to the brain. Other examples include changes in blood flow to the ear, impairment in the nerves responsible for hearing, and changes in the way the brain processes speech and sound. Once this dysfunction occurs between the brain and the ears, our ability to process and assimilate information becomes compromised.


For age-related hearing loss (or presbycusis), modern-day digital hearing aids are the absolute best treatment option available for recapturing sounds we were once able to hear. Digital hearing aids are uniquely designed to process and separate out bothersome background noise while simultaneously enhancing critical speech signals necessary for daily understanding. Prior to digital hearing aids technology, analog hearing aids were the standard and significantly limited in their capability to suppress background noise. Besides being better performing, digital hearing aids also much smaller in size and more discreet due to the miniaturized computer technology incorporated in their design.  Where once hearing aids were bulky and unattractive, new modern hearing aids appear sleek and modern like the high-tech performing product that it is.


When we lose our ability to hear, we lose the ability to interact with our world around us. Our relationships tend take a toll and there is the tendency for many people with hearing loss to just try to get by rather than seek treatment. I encourage you, or if you know someone struggling with hearing loss, to find a hearing healthcare professional and learn about the technology and try it. Find the right professional and the right technology and you just may just find yourself astounded by the results.

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​© 2019 by Audiologists Northwest