"Nearly half of people age 75 years and older will experience hearing challenges. And the reason for this is wear and tear on the hearing mechanism."
-Dr. Leslie Soiles on "The Not Old- Better Show" #417. Hearing Loss & Hearing Impairment.
Recently Dr. Leslie Soiles, Chief Audiologist with HearingLife and the Campaign for Better Hearing. spoke with The Not Older - Better Show regarding hearing loss, how the damage occurs and how we perceive hearing loss. She also discusses how to prevent hearing loss and treat hearing loss.
"We live in a noisy world" Soiles tells the Not Older Better Show
Dr. Soiles sees people who go around in our very noisy world without being proactive about protecting their hearing. However, if you look around you see people who are protecting themselves, such as landscapers, who are wearing noise-cancelling head phones. Others, who don't, are exposing themselves to the risk of hearing loss later on. "We live in a noisy world and so over the course of decades, exposure to every day sounds, can lead to age-related hearing loss. Even if someone has been very proactive in preventing hearing loss." explains Soiles.
There are various types of hearing protection, from the foam ear plugs to custom-made ear plugs for people who need professional noise blockage. You can also get other types at hardware stores and others.
Start with information
Dr. Soiles explains that at HearingLife we provide individuals with a thorough hearing assessment, so they can understand what the parameters are for normal hearing values, so we can see where the individual's hearing falls.
As a person who wears hearing aids, Dr. Soiles explains to the Not Older Better Show how she understands the needs of people with hearing loss and which options would be potentially effective for the individual. She can provide a person with a variety of options in the office, so she can make a strong recommendation. As an expert who experiences hearing loss, she shares her insights.
Caregivers and families impacts families
Since hearing loss occurs slowly over time, the person with hearing loss often compensates for it. Nonetheless, they aren't perfect solutions, so family members and friends are impacted because the person with hearing loss can't hear them, even when shouting from the other room. Dr. Soiles reminds caregivers to be gentle in their approach to addressing hearing loss in others. Plus, it's very valuable to have the friend or family member present at the appointment.
Hearing loss and other medical issues
A lot of Dr. Soiles' patients are shocked to find out about a ripple effect of hearing loss with other areas of well-being. Untreated hearing loss has a clear link to the risk of dementia.