As people grow older, they tend to experience some hearing loss. The aging process itself can lead to a loss of sensitivity of the highest and lowest audible frequencies. Older people may have an increased level of difficulty with carrying on a conversation in noisy places or with talking on the phone. If you notice that your elderly parent seems to be having hearing problems, it is a good idea to visit a hearing clinic for a hearing assessment.
Discovering the Presence of Hearing Loss
During a hearing consultation, an audiologist will run a series of tests to check which sounds can be heard by your parent’s ears. Each ear is checked at a range of frequencies. The results allow the technician to determine whether or not your parent has hearing loss. The results may also show what type of hearing loss your parent has, such as degeneration of the hairs that transmit sound to the inner ear, overgrowth of one of the bones within the inner ear, an auditory tumor or a lifetime of exposure to loud noises.
Diagnosing Other Hearing Disorders
In some cases, other auditory problems such as tinnitus can be mistaken for loss of hearing. The audiology staff can differentiate between loss of hearing and other disorders of the ears. A patient consulting session may also turn up other issues, such as a blockage of the ear canal with ear wax or an infection of the middle or inner ear.
Determining the Cause of Other Medical Symptoms
If your older parent is falling a lot or experiences frequent symptoms of dizziness or vertigo, a patient consulting session with audiology professionals may be able to discover the cause. The inner ear is responsible for a person’s sense of balance. A disorder or infection of the inner ear can result in problems such as loss of coordination. If a stroke and other medical issues have been ruled out, a hearing exam and examination of the inner ear may discover what the problem is.
Getting Fitted With Hearing Aids
When an older parent has lost some of their hearing, a visit to the hearing clinic allows for a proper fitting of hearing aids. There are many styles of hearing aids that your parent can choose from. Visiting the clinic allows your parent to try out several different styles, such as those that fully fit within the ear canal, aids that fit partly within the ear canal and those that fit over the ear. Each type of hearing aid has its benefits, and a visit to the clinic makes it easier for your parent to choose the best style.