If you are a senior experiencing hearing loss, you aren’t alone. One in three seniors over the age of 60 has some form of hearing loss, and the number jumps to one in two for those over 85. And while not being able to hear clearly can be frustrating and inconvenient, technology is improving seniors’ quality of life, especially when it comes to hearing loss.
Here are two ways technology is helping today’s seniors suffering from hearing loss:
1. Cochlear Implants.
Just a few years back, if you had hearing loss due to damage of the tiny hairs in the inner ear, it was irreversible. But now cochlear implants have changed the game for many patients.
The implant comes with three parts – a headpiece, a processor, and a receiver. The headpiece is worn behind the ear, similar to a hearing aid, and picks up the sounds. The sounds are then sent to the processor, which is worn on a belt or kept in a pocket. The processor then takes the signals, processes them in a way that the nerves can understand, and then sends them to the receiver that has been surgically implanted behind the ear. The receiver sends the signals directly to the auditory nerve, and the person hears the sounds. Although what they will hear is not perfect, they will most likely be able to do things they couldn’t, such as understand voices on the phone. For those with profound hearing loss, understanding voices again can be a dream come true.
While telecoils have been around for some time, the U.S. is just starting to use them for all they are worth. They are a small addition to a hearing aid that doesn’t make sound louder, but separates it from ambient noise, making sounds such as voices and music clearer. But when it is paired with a hearing loop, the real magic happens. Now, in many public venues, from churches to courts to theatres, hearing loops have been put in place to “catch” and transmit the sound directly to those who have telecoils in their hearing aids and cochlear implants. So those with hearing loss can receive clear sounds from the performance or speaker without having to turn their hearing aid on full blast.
Hearing loss no longer means that seniors have to sit on the sidelines of social situations. With these and other technologies, those who are hard of hearing can once again join the conversation.
Freedom Home Care stays up to date on the latest senior-related technology to best serve our clients. Check out our website to see if our in-home services would be a good match for the senior in your life.