The inner ear senses vibration created by sound. Hair cells in this area changes the vibration into electric signals. These signals move through nerves to the brain so that you can hear. Over time this system can get worn down. The normal aging process can cause:
A wearing down of the inner ear
Changes in the bone structure of the middle ear
Changes in the nerves needed for hearing
Other factors that can cause damage over time include:
Regular exposure to loud noises—damages hair cells of the inner ear that are critical to hearing
Hearing loss can't be reversed. The goal of treatment is to decrease impact of hearing loss on quality of life. Other steps may help to slow further hearing loss. Options include:
Steps that may improve your ability to hear include:
Stand closer to and face-to-face when you speak to people.
Repeat back what you hear to people speaking to make sure you understood them.
Ask people to rephrase things they say instead of asking them to repeat them.
Ask others speak louder and more clearly.
Try to lower background noise.
Hearing Aids and Assistive Listening Devices
Talk with a specialist to see if a hearing aid is right for you. An audiologist will then be able to do tests to find the best type of hearing aid for you. You may need to replace hearing aids with other models if your hearing loss gets worse.
There are also devices that can make voices over the phone more loud and clear.
A hearing aid may not be helpful for severe hearing loss. Some with this type of hearing loss may benefit from a
cochlear implant. It may improve the way sound reaches the brain. It can provide partial hearing to the profoundly deaf.
Age-related hearing loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at:
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss. Updated June 29, 2017. Accessed August 22, 2017.
Age-related hearing loss. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed August 22, 2017.