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How to talk to a family member about hearing loss

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We've all been there. It could be a grandmother, a father, or even a partner. You find yourself repeating sentences because they miss phrases, or hear the wrong words. Some days, communicating could be so difficult that you just end up giving up. Nevermind.

It wasn't that important anyway.

How does this happen? Well, hearing loss is very common among older adults in the US. Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, is by far the most prevalent. About 35 percent of adults age 65 and older have hearing loss. It is estimated that about 50 percent of people aged 75 and older have hearing loss. With presbycusis, we often find that hearing loss develops in the high frequencies, or high-pitched sounds (for example, microwave beeps or birdsong). Because we commonly gauge how loud a sound based on bass, or low-frequency energy, high-frequency hearing loss often goes unnoticed. The average wait time is seven years between the time they are affected by hearing loss and when they are fitted with hearing devices.

Here at the Los Angeles Center for Hearing & Balance, we believe in taking proactive steps to preserve, track, and maintain healthy hearing. Even if you aren't on the same page with your family member or spouse regarding how they're hearing, it's never a bad idea to schedule a baseline audiogram with one of our competent Doctors of Audiology. By tracking our hearing - we recommend a new audiogram every 18 months - we can better understand our communicative abilities over time. If you or your loved one is a candidate for amplification, rest assured that you would be working with trained professionals that have the expertise and compassion to ensure the successful integration of hearing devices into daily life. After all, that's the point of communicating: bringing people together.

Please feel free to contact us to learn more about our services, or to schedule an Audiological evaluation with one of our skilled Doctors of Audiology!

By Anish Thakkar, Au.D.