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hearing loss as you age
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hearing loss as you age

I am 60 and am experiencing some hearing loss.  If in a crowded environment I really struggle to hear conversations.  I have had my hearing tested and it is within the normal range.  I know this is an age related problem but I was wondering it there is anything I can do to both improve and prevent further hearing deterioration?
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Hello Euice,

Great question!  Unfortunately noise causes, even individuals with normal hearing, to have hearing difficulty.  You have to consider the environment, room acoustics, lighting and the people you are trying to communicate with.  All of these present barriers to proper communication, even with individuals with normal hearing.
I do have some handouts on communication strategies that I would by happy to mail to you if you want to provide your address.
In terms of preventing further deterioration-yes you can definitely protect your hearing from damage due to excessive noise exposure.  There is no way to prevent the normal aging process however you can make a habit of wearing hearing protection anytime you are around noise, concerts, lawn equipment or any other motors, machines that you might come across depending on your lifestyle.
I would suggest getting custom made noise protection.  I have a pair of custom made musician noise plugs that I wear to every concert I attend.  The difference with the musician plugs vs. normal noise plugs is that the musician plugs have a filter that allows you to continue to enjoy the music without the harmful effects.  They cost more but are worth it if you do enjoy concerts.
I hope this answer was helpful to you.

Rachele M. Orsini, Au.D.
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