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All Things Hearing

03 Sep

Aging and Hearing Loss

Most never expect the day when they have trouble participating in social events or listening to someone on the phone, but these can become real problems for someone suffering from hearing loss, which is a very common part of aging.

Presbycusis is the scientific name for hearing loss related to aging. It comes from damage to parts of the inner ear, the auditory nerve, or hearing pathways to the brain. The degree of hearing loss varies from person to person. This type of hearing loss is most commonly associated with not being able to hear what others are saying or have a hard time tolerating loud sounds.

Tinnitus is another form of hearing loss that is sometimes associated with aging. This type of hearing loss causes loud, constant ringing or roaring sounds in the ear.

How Do I Know if I have Hearing Loss?

 You should consider having a hearing test if you:

  • Have difficulty following conversations when two or more people are talking
  • Are turning the TV up louder than you used to
  • Have trouble hearing the person on the other end of the telephone
  • Feel as though people are constantly mumbling


Wearing a hearing device can help these sounds become clearer and louder, so social engagements, phone calls and even watching television become easier.


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03 Sep

What’s in a Hearing Test?

Hearing tests can help discover a number of things about hearing and determines what type of hearing aid is best suited for you. The basic principle is that a hearing test determines the amount of hearing loss a person may have by measuring a person’s ability to hear sounds that reach the inner ear through the ear canal (air-conducted sounds) and sounds transmitted through the skull (bone-conducted sounds).

Testing a person’s hearing can tell if there is damage to the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear or auditory nerve. This can also sometimes be seen with an otoscope, which an audiologist uses to look at the ear up close.

Some hearing tests involve listening to several different pitches of sounds at various volumes. The person taking the test will signal when they can hear the sound.

Other tests ask the participant to listen to combinations of words and numbers while background music and sounds play simultaneously. The participant will choose which words/numbers they heard.

After the test, the hearing specialist can determine:

  • If there is hearing loss
  • What part of the ear may be damaged
  • What type of hearing system is right for you.

Beltone offers a hearing test online here. If you do not get a perfect or near-perfect score on the test, consider visiting a hearing specialist to see what your options are to improve your hearing.

Learn More About Hearing Tests


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03 Sep

Hearing Loss Prevention

Although hearing loss is often a natural part of aging, there are some things you can do to can help prevent hearing loss. Here are some situations where hearing loss can occur and how you can prevent it:

Close-range, loud noises – A loud noise, like a single shot from a shotgun or being up close at a car race can permanently damage hearing. Take precaution when engaging in especially loud activities. Your hearing will thank you later.

A loud environment over an extended period – Working in a factory around loud machinery or on a construction site can damage hearing over time because of the repeated exposure to loud noises. Bring earplugs to work to protect your ears.

Damaging the delicate hairs in the inner ear – Be weary of sticking Q-tips or other cleaning devices in the ear to remove wax. There are tiny, delicate hairs in the inner ear that are essential to hearing, and if too many of them are damaged, hearing loss will occur.

Overuse of ear bud headphones – Wearing ear bud headphones constantly with loud music playing can damage the eardrum. Try switching to a radio sometimes or turn the volume down to a moderate level.

Remember, one-third of hearing loss is preventable through hearing loss prevention strategies!

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