There are challenges when it comes to aging. Some of the leading struggles are health-related - mainly hearing and vision. Many studies have shown that 10 to 20% of people over 70 years of age, experience dual sensory loss.
Let’s Define Dual Sensory Impairment/Loss
This is when an individual starts to notice that their vision and hearing are in decline. Some people are born with these problems, while others can develop them as they age. Deaf-blindness refers to people who have severe vision and hearing loss.
Genetic conditions, such as Usher’s syndrome, a traumatic brain injury or being exposed to a loud blast, may result in dual sensory impairment.
Why Should You Get Treatment?
Dual sensory impairment has been connected to social isolation and a poor quality of life.
This condition has not been thoroughly studied, under-recognized, and under-diagnosed. This is especially true when there are only mild symptoms, where it’s more likely to be undetected by the patient who is experiencing it, or the initial signs may only occur in one area at a time (hearing or vision loss).
It might seem normal to experience hearing and vision loss as you age, but losing both of these senses has a serious effect on your overall well-being, safety, and quality of life. As mentioned our blog, hearing loss has been associated with cognitive decline.
Studies show that people who have been treated for their dual sensory impairment experience a better quality of life and a lower risk of death compared to those who are not treated.
An Overwhelming Feeling From Dual Sensory Loss
In addition to other health concerns that are linked to aging, dual sensory loss can be overwhelming. In the elderly, it weakens their senses.
Those who experience hearing loss may depend on their vision, whereas people who experience vision loss may depend on their hearing. Audiobooks can aid the vision-impaired and captions can help the hearing-impaired. These accessories are not as useful for those with dual sensory loss.
Getting Treatment for Dual Sensory Loss
Most people who have dual sensory loss continue to experience functional hearing and vision. They can benefit from rehabilitation after being properly diagnosed.
A rehabilitation therapist may help a patient adapt to their sensory loss. Assistive devices and coping strategies will be used as treatment options. This will make daily responsibilities and communication less complicated.
Preventing Dual Sensory Impairment
It’s difficult to control your family’s medical history when it comes to vision and hearing loss, but the latest research has shown that leading a healthy lifestyle can lower your chances of being diagnosed with dual sensory impairment.
Tips to prevent Dual Sensory Impairment:
Where to get help
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing changes in your hearing contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We will be offering curbside services. If you are visiting us for a repair, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. A staff member will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or need supplies, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.