Age-​related hearing loss

May 28, 2012 by Martine Rodrigue

Lobe - aqg, perte, auditive, vieillissement, presbyacousie

Age-related hearing loss is known as presbycusis. Several studies have reveal­ed that hearing loss has many adverse consequences that should give cause for concern.

When someone loses their hear­ing, it can affect relationships with loved ones and service providers alike. Hearing loss sufferers may shy away from interactions, avoid discussion, and reduce their participation in recreational activities. Even family dynamics can deteriorate if loved ones fail to understand the impact of hearing loss.

People with hearing loss may also experience a lower level of physical and social activity com­pared with those who hear normally. Some studies have even revealed an increase in symptoms of depression.

It can take several years before a person with hearing loss seeks help by a professional. Although several studies have looked at ways that hearing-impair­ed persons adjust to their situation, a recent study focused on the experience of seniors with hear­ing problems in order to pinpoint the individual and environmental factors that facilitate or limit their adaptation.

For this age group, the study’s authors identified four main stages of progress, ranging from the first awareness of hearing loss to successful adaptation. The authors also compared certain positive and negative personal factors, such as whether a person has a confident or a defeatist outlook. Having the emotional support of loved ones and employing good listening and communication strategies can also help an elderly person move through these stages, as they cope with the reality of hearing loss and achieve a certain level of well-being.

Do not hesitate to seek assist­ance from a hearing health professional in order to help your elderly loved ones. Their well-being depends on it!

To receive a copy of Vie et vieillissement magazine from the Association québécoise de gérontologie, please visit www.aqg-quebec.org.

Reference:
– POULIOT, Louis-Marie, et al. “L’adaptation à la perte auditive chez la personne aînée: une transformation profonde insoupçonnée,” Vie et vieillissement, Vol. 9, No. 3.

The author: