Can you hear me now?
Hearing loss is common but often untreated in older adults
We accept our wrinkles andthinning grey hair as normal signsof aging, yet we’re not above collagenfillers and colouring our hair. Whenwe have difficulty reading the fineprint in our 40s, we buy funkyreading glasses or fashionableprogressives. At 50, we get yearlyeye exams to catch glaucoma ormacular degeneration early so it canbe treated.
So why are we reluctant to dealwith age-related changes to ourhearing?
Next to arthritis, hearing loss is
the most common health complaint
of older adults, and has become one
of the fastest growing phenomena
related to aging in Canada. The
Hearing Foundation of Canada says
more than half of Canadians over
the age of 65 have some degree of
hearing loss and that two-thirds
of seniors who could benefit from
hearing aids either do not seek help
or refuse treatment.
Lori Wood, an audiologist at the
South Health Campus in Calgary,
says even if people know they’re
losing their hearing, most usually
wait seven to 10 years before getting
tested. “There is still a stigma
attached to wearing a hearing aid. It’s
seen as a weakness or sign of aging.”
Unlike other normal body changes
due to aging, unaddressed hearing
loss can have a profound effect on
quality of life and well-being, Wood
says. “People who have difficulty
hearing tend to participate less
in conversations, retreat into the
background or avoid social situations
altogether—eventually leading to
isolation and possibly depression.”
Age-related hearing loss, or
Being tested and treated for hearing loss can improve the quality of your conversations, relationships and life.