Hearing and vision: Consequences of signs of wear and tear in old age
Many areas of the body deteriorate with age. These include hearing and vision. Accordingly, the affected persons find it increasingly difficult to orient themselves in their environment and to communicate with other people. This can lead to problems in everyday life and, in extreme cases, possibly even to loneliness.
Hearing in old age
In the early years of life, hearing functions without any problems in a healthy person. This means that it is possible to talk to other people, pick up sounds from the environment and enjoy music. The problems with hearing typical of old age are also known as age-related hearing loss.
Decrease of hearing in old age, reasons and symptoms
There are several reasons for this phenomenon. The main cause is wear and tear in several areas of the ears. The affected parts of the hearing include:
- the hair cells of the inner ear,
- the auditory nerve
- and the auditory center.
Affected individuals do not become hard of hearing overnight - rather, age-related hearing loss is a gradual process that continues to progress. In most cases, both ears are affected equally.
The symptoms of the problem vary. For example, affected persons initially find it more difficult to understand their counterpart in conversations - they have to ask more often.
In addition, even pleasant background noises such as nice music seem more like unpleasant noise. Finally, there are sounds that are no longer perceived at all. This includes, for example, the ringing of the telephone or the natural soundscape of a forest. In some cases, tinnitus is added.
The reasons for this include simple wear and tear of the hearing and noise exposure over the past decades. Heredity also plays a role. In addition, other diseases can contribute to weakened hearing. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are particularly relevant here.
Prevention and treatment of the problem
Various steps can be taken to prevent age-related hearing loss. First of all, it is advisable to give up smoking. Among many other problems caused by excessive nicotine consumption, it has a negative effect on hearing.
In addition, noise should be avoided. Among other things, this means not listening to music too loudly and wearing hearing protection when working in a noisy environment.
Protecting the ears from the cold in winter can also help. In addition, care should be taken to detect cardiovascular disease and diabetes in time and have them treated.
Hearing loss itself cannot be treated. However, it is possible to reduce the symptoms. In most cases, digital hearing aids are used for this purpose.