The Complete Guide to Hearing Loss
Hearing is an integral part of life, connecting us through communication. Hearing loss can put up barriers, disconnecting us from the world. We understand the role that sound plays in each person’s life. Our goal is to help them get more out of life, by keeping them connected.
What are the facts on hearing loss?
Hearing loss is more prevalent than you may think
Still, stigma surrounding hearing impairment persists. Some people equate hearing loss with old age, even though a growing number of young people are diagnosed with the condition and using hearing aids or hearing implants every year. Today, schools across the country, from pre-school through high school, make accommodations to better integrate students with hearing loss and several colleges offer programs specifically for students with hearing loss.
Study on hearing loss and stigma surrounding it
Recent research reminds us that stigma remains an issue. In 2010, The Gerontologist conducted research focused on stigma and hearing loss, and how these may impact an individual’s decision to wear hearing aids. The researchers found that perceived stigma did make a difference in whether people with hearing loss accepted hearing aids and how well they adapted to them. People in the study expressed concerns about being seen as old, or worried that people may stare at them if they were wearing hearing aids. Luckily today’s hearing aids are smaller and more discreet. Most people probably wouldn’t notice that you were wearing one.
Do you know the signs of hearing loss?
Do you have doubts about your hearing or that of a loved one? Any of the following scenarios may indicate a hearing loss
10 Signs of hearing loss;
1. I often ask others to repeat themselves.
2. You often ask people around you to repeat or you need to be more attentive to understand what others are saying.
3. I can’t hear voices clearly over the phone.
4. A bad phone connection can certainly affect call quality, but with hearing loss, it is often more difficult to understand the person on the other end, especially since it is not possible to read his or her lips.
5. I listen to the television loud enough to bother others.
6. You don’t realise how loud the television is until some complains about how loud the volume is. It is often those closest to you who point out this problem and ask you to lower the sound.
7. I hear a continuous ringing in my ear. A ringing in the ear?
8. A whistle that does not leave you during the night? It may be tinnitus. This hearing problem may be a sign of hearing loss.
9. I have trouble following a conversation in a noisy environment.
10. You struggle to follow conversations in noisy environments, such as restaurants, outdoor events, even at the supermarket.
If you or someone you know can relate to one or more of these scenarios, this may be an indication of hearing loss.
What causes hearing loss?
Hearing loss can occur at any age. Although advancing age or exposure to loud noise are the most common causes of hearing loss, an infection, injury or genetic issue can also be among hearing loss causes. Understanding the source of your issues gives our professionals insight into your needs, so we can advise you of the best options for your specific treatment.
6 Common causes of hearing loss include:
- Excessive noise exposure
- Viral infections (such as measles or mumps)
- Wax build-up
- Ototoxic drugs (medications that damage hearing)
What can happen if I don’t address my hearing loss?
Don’t let a hearing disorder isolate you from the great moments in life! Your hearing health is closely connected to your brain health, so the sooner you receive treatment for your hearing loss, the less you risk seeing your quality of life deteriorate overtime.
Untreated hearing loss can lead to:
- Social Isolation
- Following a conversation when you have hearing loss requires so much more energy. As a result, this condition often pushes people to avoid social interactions.
- Sensory loss
- When you do not hear what's going on around you, your mental acuity will deteriorate. This is due to the decline in auditory stimulation, a phenomenon that can block the brain's ability to process sounds and recognise speech. Like your body, your brain has to stay active to stay fit!
- Severe hearing loss can increase the risk of depression.
- Untreated hearing loss directly affects social development, psychological state and cognitive performance. Hearing disorders can increase cognitive decline and accelerate the phenomenon of dementia.
What are the benefits of treating my hearing loss?
For many hearing loss sufferers, to hear a long-forgotten sound, like the birds chirping or the laughter of a child is an enriching experience!
By taking care of your hearing, you can improve your overall quality of life.
Hearing well is also very beneficial when communicating with others and heavily relied upon to help us navigate safely through the world.
With good hearing, you stay connected to the world around you. For many, this reconnection can happen with professionally fit and tuned hearing aids designed to address an individual’s specific hearing loss severity and range.
Are there different types of Hearing Loss?
There are many parts of your auditory system working together to help you hear. A malfunction, damage, or obstruction to one or more of those components can result in hearing loss. Because each part of your auditory system performs a specific role in helping you hear and process sound, specific treatment is required to improve or repair their function. Hearing professionals have identified three main types of hearing loss to diagnose patients and prescribe an appropriate treatment. Note: Hearing loss can only be diagnosed by a certified hearing professional.
How can I prevent hearing loss?
Although there is no official cure for age-related hearing loss and no guaranteed hearing loss prevention method, there are steps you can take to reduce your likelihood of developing hearing loss over your lifetime. Learn more about healthy hearing practices and hearing protection solutions that can help keep hearing loss at bay.