Medical Alerts for Seniors with Hearing Loss

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Hearing Loss

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Hearing loss can present as a gradual or sudden decrease in one’s ability to hear. Hearing loss is one of the most common issues older adults face. Studies show that one in three seniors between the ages of 65 and 74 suffer from hearing loss. Hearing loss can contribute to miscommunication, failure to follow a physician’s order, neglecting to respond to warnings or alarms, and failure to hear doorbells and door knocks.

Some individuals experiencing hearing loss may not enjoy spending time with friends and family as much as they used to, due to the frustrations and embarrassments of suffering through the condition.

Hearing Loss Overview

Hearing loss often occurs gradually, and an individual may not realize that they’ve lost some ability to hear. Studies have not determined why hearing loss affects some seniors more than others, but in many cases, genetics seemed to be the root cause. Hearing loss related to age occurs in both ears, affecting each equally.Frequently, it occurs due to changes in the inner and middle ear, or in the nerve pathways to the brain.

It has also been found that hearing loss may occur from years of being exposed to loud noises. Hearing loss can also occur as a side effect of bacterial and viral infections, heart issues, stroke, head injuries, tumors and certain medicines.

Hearing Loss Impairment

Hearing loss leads to a difficulty in hearing as a result of damage to one or more parts of the ear.In many cases, hearing loss appears gradually and usually goes unnoticed for quite some time. Individuals may feel that their hearing is fine, and think that others are mumbling during conversations or need to speak up.

Individuals suffering with hearing loss face impairments daily, including:

  • Being easily distracted by background noises
  • Asking others to repeat themselves during conversations
  • Requiring others to speak loudly in order to maintain a conversation
  • Not hearing high-pitched sounds
  • Misunderstanding what others say
  • Requiring televisions to be loud in order to hear them
  • Hearing ringing, roaring and hissing sounds
Medical Alert Benefits

Individuals suffering with a severe hearing impairment may lose their ability to communicate in the event of an accident or injury. It is vital for emergency medical personnel to know whether there is an inability to hear and/or speak. Knowing the status of the individual can help medical personnel to accurately diagnose the issues and provide appropriate treatment.

Some of the most common symptoms of hearing loss include:

  • Sounds and speech appearing muffled
  • Difficulty understanding words, especially when there is background noise or a crowd of people
  • Trouble hearing consonants
  • Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
  • Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio
  • Withdrawing from conversations
  • Avoidance of social settings
Safety Without Medical Alerts

Some individuals who experience hearing loss may choose alternate means of dealing with the issue, rather than opting for medical alert services. The following are a few tips.

  • Difficulty understanding words: Gradual earwax buildup can obstruct sound waves, preventing an individual from hearing. Hearing in these cases can often be restored with the removal of earwax.
  • Muffling speech: Ear infection and abnormal bone growths or tumors can cause sounds to be muffled, resulting in hearing loss. A doctor’s visit can usually diagnose these issues.
  • Needing to turn up the volume: A ruptured eardrum may affect hearing. Individuals can resort to turning up volumes to improve their hearing abilities in some cases.
Hearing Loss Precautions:
  • Limit exposure to loud noises: Exposure to loud sounds can do great harm to inner ear cells, and therefore should be avoided. Exposure to loud noises long-term can increase the possibility of damaging or rupturing an eardrum, which can significantly lessen hearing abilities.
  • Check medication side effects: Individuals should be aware of the side effects of their medications. Many drugs, such as antibiotics and chemotherapy medications, can damage the inner ear. These drugs can have temporary effects including ringing in the ear and hearing loss.
  • Get well: If individuals are battling illnesses and diseases, they should be aware that a high fever may damage the inner ear.
Hearing Loss Medical Alerts Conclusion

The standard process when requesting help via medical alert services involves pressing a button, then informing the operator of the medical issue. Communicating would usually be difficult for an individual with hearing loss, however, medical alert operators are trained to handle such situations successfully.

When the button is pressed for assistance, the operator will immediately recognize whether the signal comes from a person that suffers from hearing loss. If so, they will immediately proceed to treat it as an emergency, instead of attempting to start a conversation. Medical alert services can provide the peace of mind of knowing that in the face of an emergency, help will be on the way even if you struggle to hear and communicate.

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

Shae is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.