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Ageing Ear

The numerous anatomic changes hear occur in the auditory system can lead to functional decrements. Ear wax becomes drier and more tenacious, which can severely affect hearing, especially low frequency sounds. It is a common cause of hearing loss in older people. The most common cause of "presbyacusis" is due to cochlea degeneration. There is an age-related decline in ability to perceive tones above 2000Hz (speech frequencies: 500-6000Hz), but the ability to hear critical sounds can remain intact well into old age. Speech frequencies range from 25dB (whisper) to above 80dB (shouting). Loss of hearing is apparent when 30-40dB are lost. Hearing impairment in the older people has powerful psychological effects, for example, contributing to isolation and depression. The following skills are important when communicating with the hearing impaired:
  • Obtaining attention
  • 2.Face the person at the same level
  • 3.Sit in a good light
  • 4.Avoid eating or touching your mouth while speaking
  • 5.Speak towards the better ear at a distance of up to 1 meter
  • 6.Reduce background noise
  • 7.Speak slowly and clearly
  • 8.If the person does not have a hearing aid, speak loudly (not shouting) or use a portable amplifier or speaking tube.


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