For many Australians, retirement is the main thing they look forward to as they age. We work hard our entire lives so it’s natural to want time to relax, spend time with loved ones, and be social without worrying about the constraints of the 9-5 workweek. But, one thing most people don’t think about as they plan for their retirement is hearing loss and how it will affect their new social life.
Age-related hearing loss is more common than you might think amongst Australians who are reaching the age of retirement. Although age-related hearing loss is not a life-threatening condition, it can have a significant impact on your quality of life if left untreated.
Causes of age-related hearing loss
Age-related hearing loss occurs gradually over time. Various changes in the inner ear can cause the condition. These include:
- Changes in the structures of the inner ear
- Changes in blood flow to the ear
- Impairment in the nerves responsible for hearing
- Changes in the way that the brain processes speech and sound
- Damage to the tiny hairs in the ear that are responsible for transmitting sound to the brain
Age-related hearing loss can also be caused by other issues, including:
- Poor circulation
- Exposure to loud noises
- Use of certain medications
- Family history of hearing loss
One of the most damaging symptoms of hearing loss is the social isolation people feel if they are suffering with the condition. Imagine you are at your own retirement party and you can’t hear the speeches because you have been putting off getting a hearing test.
Hearing loss causes people to struggle to keep up when others are talking, it’s harder to be an active participant in interesting conversations at a dinner party when you can’t hear what people are saying. Hearing loss can cause you to miss out on subtle cues that help you engage with others. And, in contrast, people with normal hearing subconsciously realise when another person wants to speak because they hear things like when that person takes a breath before speaking. Hearing loss might cause you to talk over others and stop the flow of conversation.
Most people lose their hearing gradually and might not even realize it. It’s easy to forget that many visual things also have sound. They might not hear the leaves rustle as they walk in the woods. They might leave the water running in the sink because they don’t hear it. If a loved one tosses off a remark as he or she walks out of the room, they dismiss it as something they weren’t meant to hear anyway.
So, how can you combat the risk of social isolation and ensure that you enjoy your retirement and live life to the fullest? It’s simple, get your hearing tested!
At Hearing Sense, we pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our clients and we can help you ensure your ears are as ready for retirement as you are! The purpose of our FREE hearing tests is to determine not only if our clients have a hearing loss, but to diagnose how mild or severe it is. A thorough hearing test can also help define the type of hearing loss you have, and what is the best treatment or assistive devices to help you manage your loss.
If you ever need us or want more information about hearing health or to book a FREE appointment, give us a call on 8331 8047 or drop into one of our three clinic locations. We have clinics in Norwood, Unley, and Salisbury.