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Transcript: Age-Related Hearing Loss

[White text on black background reads: Age-Related Hearing Loss. Under the text is the Minnesota Department of Human Services Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division logo. Xavier Arana, a Deaf Latino, is on the right side of the screen, wearing glasses and a black button-down shirt.]

Age-Related Hearing Loss 

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions that comes with aging. 

Age-related hearing loss affects one out of three people between the ages of 65 and 74 in the United States. Nearly half of seniors will experience hearing loss by age 75 or older. 

Age-related hearing loss can be caused by physical changes inside your ear, exposure to noise during your life, side effects of medications, or medical conditions. 

Warning Signs 

Because age-related hearing loss often occurs gradually, you may not realize you have a hearing loss. Warning signs include asking other people to repeat themselves or to speak more clearly, finding it hard to hear when there is a lot of background noise, finding it hard to hear in situations where it wasn’t a problem in the past, needing to turn up the volume on the television or radio and, avoiding or withdrawing from social situations. 

In most cases, age-related hearing loss cannot be reversed. 

Losing your hearing can be a difficult and frustrating life change. The impact of hearing loss is compounded if you are losing your vision. This is referred to as a dual sensory loss or, sometimes, deafblind. 

Early intervention 

Early intervention is critical. 

Untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation, depression, and anxiety. 

Recent studies have linked untreated hearing loss to a greater risk of dementia and increase your risk of falls and other safety concerns. 

Regular screenings with a doctor or hearing professional can help you identify changes in your hearing and make recommendations for assistive technology and communication strategies. 

You may feel uncomfortable telling people about your hearing loss but it’s important to learn how to ask for help. This is called self-advocacy. You can learn more about self-advocacy in the Communications Access section of this website. 

Things You Can Do 

Changing how you communicate with others can help you stay connected with family and friends. Check out the communication tips in this section of the website. 

Many people with age-related hearing loss benefit from hearing aids, amplified telephones, and other types of assistive technology and home modifications. Technology and communication strategies can help you maintain your independence. Check out the Home Modifications checklist for tips and suggestions for staying safe at home and out in the community. 

To learn more about age-related hearing loss, check out the video Hearing Loss Matters. You will find it in this section of the website. 

Select Contact Us on this website to connect with a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist for personal assistance and recommendations.

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