Hearing loss in adults

March 8, 2013 by Martine Rodrigue

La perte auditive chez l’adulte

There are several possible causes for the phenomenon of hearing loss. Obviously, everyone knows that expo­sure to loud noises often explains this phenomenon, and that long-term, repeated exposure to less intense noises can also cause hearing problems. This phenomenon has also increasingly been noted in young adults.

Furthermore, normal aging is also associated with hearing loss, and sometimes certain types of infections, injuries or diseases can be factors as well.

The Hearing Foundation of Canada emphasizes that “promptly dealing with a suspected hearing loss will help identify available corrective measures, minimize its effects, and ensure the best possible communication strategies and quality of life.”

These are the signs to look out for:

  • You find yourself continually asking people to repeat themselves.
  • Your family or friends complain that you watch TV at a loud volume.
  • Voices are unclear on the telephone.
  • You find it difficult to understand speech in noisy situations, such as in restaurants.
  • You find yourself straining to understand conversations in social settings or at work.

If you are experiencing these situations, talk to your doctor promptly so that you can be referred to an audiologist. Although admitting you have a hearing problem is not easy, the effects of the problem can worsen over time. Difficulty communicating affects autonomy, independence and general well-being, and can sometimes cause tensions with those around you. In older adults, this can result in premature placement in a nursing home, when simple corrective measures could allow them to remain in their home. It can even go as far as thinking that someone is senile, since they very often reply incorrectly to questions, even though the problem is only related to hearing.

According to the Ordre des audioprothésistes, 80% of people that are affected by hearing loss are not diagnosed or treated; 33% of people aged 65 and older suffer from a hearing problem; and 10% of the general population (all ages) is affected by a hearing problem.

For those who are curious, I recommend visiting this site: http://www.journee-audition.org/100-questions.htm to find out more about hearing in general.

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