Senior citizens aged 60 and above can get their ears checked at the Project Silver Screen functional screening programme. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HEALTH
As people grow older, they may start developing age-related hearing loss.
Initially, the hearing loss is very mild and not perceptible. It affects both ears and progresses gradually with age till it finally becomes noticeable to both the person as well as his family and friends.
Many elderly patients tell me that hearing loss is “part and parcel of growing old”. They do not realise that social communication is even more vital in the senior years to keep them active and mentally alert. Dementia has now been suggested in many studies to be aggravated by hearing loss.
Keeping our seniors actively engaged in activities and physically independent requires that all their senses are functioning well.
Seniors aged 60 years and above should go for functional screening for hearing, eyesight and oral health yearly. The hearing checks can help to detect early age-related decline in hearing loss. Follow-up treatment or hearing aids may be recommended for those with hearing issues.
With appropriate education and intervention, seniors can enjoy good hearing throughout their golden years.
Contributed by:Dr Barrie Tan Yau BoonHead and senior consultant, Department of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery);director, Centre for Hearing and Ear Implants; andprincipal investigator, Hearing Research Laboratory;Singapore General Hospital
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Author: Jac Woo
Source: The Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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