As we age, we all experience varying changes throughout our bodies. Two areas that we want to focus on in this month’s blog is our vision and hearing. As we age, the structures that support out eyesight and ability to hear deteriorate at a slow but steady pace.
Although it is normal to experience difficulties with our eyesight and vision there are some symptoms we should be aware of that may indicate more than expected deterioration that occurs with aging.
With regards to eyesight, symptoms that are associated with changes can include sensitivity to light, clumsiness, spilling, trouble driving at night, uncontrolled eye movements and an increased risk of falls. If there is an onset of these symptoms it is best to check in with your eye doctor who can screen you for more serious vision problems such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.
Best way to prevent and catch the potential onset of these symptoms is to attend regular eye exams, using eye drops to help with dry eyes if they have been recommended, wearing sunglasses, turning on lights when navigating around the home, not smoking as it has been linked to increases in macular degeneration, wearing safety glasses when working on job sites or construction and limiting how much you drive at night. Based on your optometrist’s findings, they may recommend to you glasses, medication or potentially surgery.
Hearing loss that is experienced by many is due to changes that occur to the inner ear. These changes of the inner ear can be due to a variety of factors such as age, increased noise exposure, Meniere’s disease, acoustic neuroma, and genetics. Symptoms that are commonly associated with hearing loss can include the need to have the television or radio at a very high volume, asking that someone repeat themselves multiple times, favouring one ear and experiencing a ringing or buzzing in the ear. There are two potential causes of hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss. Having regular check-ups and testing for hearing loss is important and can lead to early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss.
Why hearing and vision and what does it have to do with rehabilitation?
At Rebalance Rehab, our goal is to help people improve on or maintain their mobility, their independence, and their health. Vision and hearing loss can have a significant effect on all these things. Did you know that those who have issues with hearing and/or vision are at an increased risk of safety and mobility issues? Studies have shown that those who are losing their vision are 4 times more likely to suffer a fractured hip and 2 times more likely to have a fall! Therefore, for us, vision and hearing are substantial to safety in daily living and only further aids in our goal to help you become and stay independent.