Beginning in our 40s and 50s, our brain’s ability to provide ample feedback to our ears starts declining. If that filter is not in place, you can easily be overcome with a large amount of information that can be difficult to sort. It is almost like a computer being overtaken by spam because the filter stopped working and everything just slipped through as miscellaneous information. What it all boils down to is that the increase in the amount of information heading to our brains will actually limit the ability of a person to hear.
The main complaint of elderly individual’s is that they are not able to hear others speaking because of an excessive amount of noise in the background. They may hear quite clearly when they are in a quiet environment, but when they head to a restaurant it seems like nothing more than a bunch of chaos. Essentially, the feedback system heading to the brain is failing.
Difficulty hearing others can lead to complications with family and friends. It can be very upsetting because people want to be able to hear their children and grandchildren, but instead they are unable to understand anything that is going on around them. They feel as if they are losing something that they have always had. People will either clam up or end up trying to dominate the conversation with an enormous amount of aggression. The amount of estrangement they feel can end up becoming quite intense and eventually lead to depression.
Even though there is no specific cure for hearing loss due to aging, there are some simple steps that we can take to help lower the damaging effects we feel. Speaking louder when we are around someone with a hearing impairment is a natural instinct. However, it is not going to help them hear any better than if you were to speak at a normal volume when you are dealing with hearing loss related to age. The one thing that does help is to speak a little slower than what you normally would. Loud sounds are an area of sensitivity when it comes to the elderly population, so raising your voice could be one of the worst things you could do. Speak slowly and clearly for optimal communication.
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