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Newsletter - oct 2002.pdf

Healthy Aging Newsletter
time to look into hearing aids because I October 2002
Volume 1, Issue 3
It IS a Big Deal!
everyone to speak louder”. My husband, who tends to be blunt, said, “just tell her Clinical Nurse Specialist, Geriatrics she can’t hear” - but he’s new to the family and hasn’t quite figured out how Inside this Issue
ankle, constipation or a headache garner 1 Hearing Loss:
times I have assessed a senior who can’t doesn’t. Maybe people just learn to live 2 Hearing:
they’re missing? Could you imagine not wasn’t “ready” for a hearing aid. So, 3 Upcoming Events
TV/radio up to a level that research has patient ‘thoroughly demented’ because she couldn’t answer his questions. I had news? I got to a point where I just went 4 Hearing Loss:
because her hearing “still wasn’t bad People live with hearing loss everyday – Special thanks to: members of the HASE
and live well. But, in cases where it can Team, Joanne Wagg (Canadian Hearing
Society) and Judy Weaver (RVH)
couldn’t participate in a discussion she for contributing to, and reviewing, this The Rehabilitation & Complex Continuing thought I had her. I, the prodigal child Healthy Aging Program - Royal Victoria Hospital (just don’t tell my brother and sister I October 2002
Types of Hearing Loss
members had it). “In presbycusis, high- Conductive Hearing Loss
drugs, at certain dosages, can be toxic to How Does the Ear Work?
the ear (ie. Lasix, aspirin, ibuprofen). Tinnitus, is a high or low pitched
outer ear (the pinna) – the part you see
Mixed Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
damage in the cochlea. This type of loss the nerves. Presbycusis , the most
Joanne Wagg
prevalent disorder affecting seniors, has is transferred to a “chain” of three bones loud noise and heredity (ie. older family Thanks Joanne!
in the middle ear, known as the hammer
(or malleus), the anvil (or incus) and the
Some Normal Aging Changes
The following are some normal aging changes that can impact hearing:

Outer Ear
? thick, long and coarse hair in men’s outer ear ? ? trapping of earwax (cerumen) bones to vibrate and they in turn transfer ? elasticity of outer ear ? ? size of outer ear ? elasticity of the ear canal ? ? narrowing of the ear canal atrophy (? size) of the sebaceuos glands in the ear canal ? ? dry skin in ear canal ? pruritus (? itchy) and dry, hard cerumen into the cochlea located in the inner
atrophy of the modified apocrine glands ? ? water in cerumen ? dry, hard cerumen ear. The cochlea is a snail shaped organ
? stiff and ? translucence of the ear drum ? ? movement of the ear drum in response to sound waves ? ? hearing Middle Ear
the middle ear mostly unaffected by aging except in cases of arthritis or when bone density ? ? ? space between the three bones and ? stiffness ? small conductive hair cell moves. All nerves cells travel
Inner Ear
? number of myelinated (covered) nerve fibers ? ? speed of impulses ? ? time to auditory nerve. The auditory nerve is
receive and process information in the brain breakdown of hair cells in the cochlea ? ? # and movement of hair cells ? ? nerve impulses resulting from hair movement ? hearing loss at high frequencies specifically, the auditory cortex in the atrophy and ? # of cochlear neurons ? ? nerve impulses ? hearing loss at high frequencies (neural presbycusis), ? tone discrimination, ? voice vocalization ? ? hearing especially when background noise, rapid speech and in a room with poor ? blood supply to the cochlea ? loss of the cochlea’s normal biochemical environment ? hearing loss at high frequencies (metabolic presbycusis) and poor interpretation of sounds ? ? sound/word discrimination Upcoming Events
GRIEF - Thursday October 31st , 1130-1230 Odds & Ends . . .
ELDER ABUSE - Thursday November 28th , 1130-1230 via videoconference within Simcoe County “MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF DEMENTIA CARE”
October 24th, 2002 - Army, Navy & Air Force (ANAF) Club For information:
November 19th, 2002 - Simcoe Manor, Beeton For information:
November 7th, 2002 - Sheraton Parkway North For information:
25th Annual Geronotological Nursing Association ‘s November 7th & 8th, 2002 - Hamilton Convention Centre “GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY CLINIC DAY”
November 27th, 2002 - Bank of Montreal Institute, North York For information: Heather Anderson (416) 756-6878 Tell me about ear candling.
wake sleepers, there are vibrating alarm On some hearing aids there is a
clocks that turn on connected bedside lamps. The Canadian Hearing Society movable switch with the letters
M, T, and O under it. What do the
letters stand for?
See their website ( or call the Simcoe office at (705) 737-3190. The “M” stands for ‘microphone’ and is used during regular conversation. “T” beeswax candle into your ear and light it What’s the difference between the
stands for ‘telephone’ and used when on words ‘deaf’, ‘deafened’, and
‘hard of hearing’?
What are signs of hearing loss?
According to the Canadian Hearing Society (2001), these terms do not refer treated patients with complications from to the type or extent of hearing loss,they repeat what you’ve said or talk louder ear candling – burns to the outer ear and actually refer to the person’s preferred ear canal, ear canals being plugged with type of communication. ‘Deaf’ refers to
“Waxy -eared folks should have a doctor communicate. ‘Deafened’ refers to
those who have lost all hearing and rely What home gadgets are there for
people with hearing loss?
sign language. ‘Hard of Hearing’
refers to people who have mild to severe they can’t hear the conversation. Some hearing loss. They use their voice, their because they can’t enjoy the interaction October 2002
Did You Know . . .

The Canadian Hearing Society did
a coast-to-coast telephone survey
Decibel (dB) Levels
170 dB = firecracker detonating near head
160-170 dB = shotgun, high-powered rifle,
1. Protect your ears in the workplace.
155 dB = toy cap gun firing near ear
120 dB = sound level some stereos can
More than 50% of adults over age
103.4 dB = avg. sound level at rock concert
65 have hearing loss
Noise Related Hearing Loss
2,100 out of 35,000 cochlear
neurons are lost every decade
2. Protect your ears at home and
during recreational activities. Coren
Clark & Bohne (1999), the ear can be with earwax, normal hearing is still
1. “High level, short duration exposures 95%, significant conductive hearing loss can occur. A simple shift in the this increase occurs also rises with age. apart” (p. 1658). This type of ‘acoustic
Exostoses are benign growths of
the bony ear canal resulting from
trauma’ occurs rapidly and can lead to
is the point at which people feel most at 2. Noise-induced hearing loss (vs.
Hearing aids transmit amplified
sound into the ear canal and
work. Cochlear implants (think
energy into electrical impulses and deliver them directly to the auditory the extent of time a person is exposed to that extra notch for your favorite song. loss occurs in 3 stages. First, excessive (because they’re always louder than the Hearing aids can range in cost
with scar tissue because they can’t be
For people with high frequency
sound loss (presbycusis) a
note on a piano). At this point, hearing 3. Have your hearing tested. When
like a prism and form a rainbow” would actually sound like: “whe- the -u-ight -t-ikes -ai-d-op- i- Facts from:
hearing loss means you’re in a position The Canadian Hearing Society
Protecting your Hearing
Marcincuk & Roland (2002).
Geriatric Hearing Loss:
Understanding the causes and
providing appropriate treatment.
Geriatrics . 57(4). Pp. 44-59.


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