Seeing may be believing, but hearing is just as important. Without your hearing, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy your favorite song or listen to a loved one’s voice. According to the National Institute of Health, a third of the United States population over 65 has some type of hearing loss.

Not being able to hear is frustrating because it can make you feel unaware or left out. It’s dangerous if you’re unable to hear noises such as car horns or smoke alarms. When you notice that your ears are creating an obstacle in your daily routine, seek help.

There are two main types of hearing loss. Presbycusis is an ear disorder that appears slowly as you age. It’s genetic and affects hearing in both ears. Tinnitus causes a ringing or hissing noise in your ear. It can be permanent or it can disappear after a certain amount of time. Tinnitus may indicate other health problems, such as high blood pressure or allergies. Though it is unclear what exactly brings these problems on, here is a list of possible causes:

Fortunately, there are a number of hearing devices that can help:

If you are suffering from hearing loss, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to let people know. Ask them to speak louder or slower so that you can understand them. Pay attention to facial expressions or hand gestures. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Can you repeat that?” If your ears are causing a problem in your everyday life, notify your doctor so you can explore some helpful options.


Melanie Marzillo
Research & Community Education

Chicago Skilled Nursing
Chicago Senior Living

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