Reviewed by Brandon Isaacson on October 05, 2015

Sources

American Academy of Audiology: “Age Related Hearing Loss."; U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Age Related Hearing Loss."; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: “Age Related Hearing Loss."; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: “Ototoxic Medications (Medication Effects)."; BBC News: “Smoking link to hearing loss risk."; American Diabetes Association: “Diabetes and Hearing Loss."

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Video Transcript

Is it becoming harder and harder to follow conversations as you've gotten older? You could be starting to lose your hearing. It happens to many of us. Don't let it affect your quality of life. There are thing you can do to adjust. A doctor can tell you if your ears are blocked by wax or infection or if there's an underlying condition involved. If so, there are treatments you can try.
One in three of us will experience age-related hearing loss. That happens when your delicate inner ear is permanently damaged, which can be the result of repeated exposure to loud music. Or loud noises. Or smoking. Even your genes can predispose you to age-related hearing loss.
If your hearing is starting to go, there are things you can do to help yourself. Try hearing aids, telephone and TV amplifiers, and other assisted-living devices. Try hearing aids, telephone and TV amplifiers, and other assisted-living devices. If your hearing continues to get worse, sign language lessons may help. If your hearing loss is really severe, you may be a candidate for a cochlear implant, which bypasses the outer ear to deliver sound waves to the nerves of the brain.
You can also try these coping skills. Move closer! Don't try to listen from a distance. Watch the face. You can often pick up cues from facial and lip movement. Ask people to slow down if they are speaking too fast for you to follow. And take listening breaks. You'll focus best when rested.
Don't ignore your hearing loss. Experts say that could make it worse. So laugh, talk, and use all of these tips to keep your ears as busy as possible.