Hearing loss can be critical in an emergency situation in the home:
- Not hearing the doorbell or smoke detector
- Not hearing warnings or calls for help
- Misunderstanding instructions
Hearing loss also can be taxing on household members:
- Misunderstandings in conversations
- Repeating questions
- Not getting responses
And if you live with someone with hearing loss, you probably have had to exclaim more than once: “Can you please turn the TV down?” These dynamics in the home are usually the result of age-related hearing loss.
Age-Related Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss (called “presbycusis”) is the loss of hearing that gradually occurs as a person ages. Age-related hearing loss:
- Is one of the most common conditions affecting elderly adults
- Affects 1 in 3 people between the ages of 65 and 74
- Affects half of all persons over age 75
According to the president of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, it is common for patients to report that they have been having trouble hearing for several months when, in reality, their hearing loss has been gradually worsening for 7 to 10 years. Despite this, only 14% of the 26.7 million people over age 50 who suffer with hearing impairment use a hearing aid.
Four Solutions for Hearing Loss Sufferers When Watching TV
For elderly adults who suffer with hearing loss (and for those who live with them), turning up the volume on the TV is not always the best solution. It disturbs others, diminishes the quality of the sound, and may add to existing hearing loss. Here are four options that could help:
1. Sound Bars.
Sound bars sit just above or below the television screen and amplify the television audio much better than the built-in speakers on most televisions. They offer a “surround-sound,” much like that in a movie theatre.
2. Wireless Headphones.
Wireless headphones provide private listening by transmitting audio from a small base plugged into the television. Some headphones can be programmed directly to the TV.
3. Wireless Aids / Loop Systems
Some newer models of hearing aids are designed to enable digital connectivity between the hearing aid and the television so the listener can pick up audio from the television when coming within a certain range. The hearing aid also allows independent volume adjustment.
A “loop system” (sometimes called an “audio induction” loop) acts similarly by wirelessly connecting the audio output of the television to a loop worn around the listener’s neck.
4. Closed Captioning
Since 2006, all television programs are required to display audio content in text presented on the screen. This is called “closed captioning.” Turning on the closed captioning feature of the television offers the listener a complete transcription of what is being heard on the screen.
These accessories cannot prevent or treat age-related hearing loss, but they can improve the quality of life of those who suffer with age-related hearing loss. A home care provider not only will be able to help assess the onset of age-related hearing loss, but can suggest the proper accessory that is right for your older adult with hearing loss.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Home Care in Gulfport, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.