Losing the ability to hear can make life extremely difficult for anybody, although help does exist out there. If someone is given a proper diagnosis, their hearing loss can be treated.
As we get older, it’s expected that our bodies will experience changes, hair color changes, we slow down, and our senses are dulled.
While we tend to just adjust to our new abilities or difficulties, it can often be very disappointing to lose your hearing. Sometimes, people don’t want to seek out help because they are embarrassed.
It can be quite hard to communicate with people, leading them to refrain from things they used to like. Depression, loneliness, and feelings of being misunderstood are common. But if a person is properly diagnosed, they can get the treatment they need to learn how to live with it.
All it takes are a few lifestyle adjustments.
When sound is cut off from the eardrum and inner ear, it is called conductive hearing loss. Certain physical conditions, like excessive ear wax, excess bone development, or a middle ear infection can result in this condition.
When your inner ear or auditory nerve becomes damaged, you start to undergo sensorineural hearing loss. This problem can also be caused because of long exposure to loud noise or problems in genetics.
Central auditory dysfunction is an uncommon problem that happens when there is damage in nerve centers in the brain.
Unlike other forms, it affects how speech is understood instead of how it’s heard. In any of these situations, hearing problems could arise. It could be difficult to interpreting speech, especially when background noise is present.
Your constantly asking people to repeat themselves.
Some sounds can seem annoying or disjointed. You might even hear a frequent roaring, ringing, or hissing in your ears. You no longer like to watch TV or attend social events, since you aren’t able to hear as well as you used to.
If you suspect that you are suffering from hearing loss, you should see your doctor. After your issue is identified, a course of action will be determined. Surgery or the removal of impacted ear wax may be able to restore your ability to hear, partially or even completely.
Hearing aids are recommended quite often.
Audiologists can be consulted to find out which one will work ideally for your particular situation. A number of sufferers could find help through amplification devices for phones and TVs, or by learning how to read lips.
Lip reading is a technique of word comprehension achieved through looking at lip, face, and body motions. If you can limit the amount of background noise you experience from televisions and stereos, the better you’ll be.
It’s also helpful to be straightforward with people about your hearing problem, this will make communication less of a burden.
You might be acquainted with a person who is hard of hearing. If you are, you can help them out by trying these tips. Talk normally but not to fast and do not over enunciate.
Exaggerating your speech may make it difficult to recognize visual cues, and it can also distort speech sounds.
Make sure your lip movements are visible by speaking in a well-lit location. Don’t speak while eating or chewing or covering your mouth. Be patient if the person isn’t getting what you’re saying – just repeat until they get it.
If you’re talking about the person be sure to include them in the conversation. Being open with a hearing-impaired person can dispel misgivings and any sense of isolation.
Do You or Someone You Know Have Hearing Loss?
There are any number of reasons that a person can experience hearing problems, and if you are going to help them, or begin to understand what they are going through, it helps to understand how problems with one’s hearing come about.
Hearing problems can come about in one of two ways; either you are born with the problem, or the problem with your hearing is acquired through some sort of accident or illness.
In fact, there are plenty of people who have contracted a disease as seemingly benign as Measles or Mumps, and who has suffered partial or total hearing loss as a result.
Hearing can also be lost due to an injury, say a blow to the head that impacts the auditory nerve. And then there is the dreaded loss of hearing that can come from simple aging.
The thing is, not all kinds of hearing loss are created equal and depending on what level of hearing loss you or your loved one suffers from, there may be a number of options available to help regain at least part of the lost hearing.
From hearing loss that is so slight that it can’t be detected except through laboratory equipment to total hearing loss, the wide number of problems associated with one’s hearing are far too many to list here.
In fact, there are entire websites that are dedicated to just one or another kind of hearing loss, and each of them offers plenty of resources to reference when working or dealing with that particular type of hearing loss, and this really should come as no surprise, for it is estimated that at least one out of every ten of us suffers from some form or another of hearing loss.
Once a person’s age increases to 65, that ration drops to one in three.
With age being such a large segment of the population who are having problems with their hearing, it is quite understandable that hearing loss in general and deafness in particular has come to be seen as an old person’s disease; as something to be feared as a sign of aging.
While it’s true that many people tend to lose the acuity of their sense of hearing as they get older, there are so many options available for those with the more mild to moderate types of hearing loss that it is becoming far easier for those with hearing problems to live normal and productive lives.
In fact, the judicious use of a number of medical procedures – including surgery – can take care of many of the more mild forms of hearing loss, and for those types that do not respond well to treatment, there are a wide number of hearing aids available that can help to move the sound waves along and compensate for those parts of the ear that are not working properly.
The concept of hearing is fairly astounding actually, and the ear is an incredibly complex – and fragile – organ.
All it takes is just one of the small and interlinked parts to go wrong, and you can begin to see the effects of hearing loss.
But perhaps one of the most insidious means of losing one’s hearing comes with sensorineural hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is permanent damage to the cilia; those little hairs (nerve endings) that move the sound waves through your inner ear so that they can be translated into electrical signals that the brain then interprets.
This kind of loss can be caused in a number of different ways and, due to the part of the ear that it affects, is most likely permanent and cannot be reversed through medical procedures or even surgery.
But worse than this is when the non-ear part of a person’s auditory system goes haywire.
The auditory system is not just about the ears; it consists of the ears, the auditory nerve, and specific areas in the brain that are associated specifically with the translation of the electrical impulses into the ideas of sounds; sounds that can be interpreted as belonging to specific persons or animals or objects (such as speeding cars, airplanes or grating metal).
When someone suffers from hearing loss, it usually means that part of their auditory system has been damaged, and while damage to parts of the ear can be repaired fairly easily with modern medical procedures, there are some things (like the cilia) which cannot be repaired and which, unfortunately, can be easily damaged, and one of the biggest culprits when it comes to this kind of hearing damage comes from sudden loud sounds such as explosions, or the buildup of damage that occurs when one is exposed to dangerously high decibels of sound over a long period of time.
The intensity of sound is measured in decibels, and the normal human hearing comfort zone falls between zero and about 80 decibels.
This range includes things like normal conversation, most music (not including live concerts), household appliances and other regular, everyday kind of noises.
More dangerous are things like continual exposure to unfiltered traffic noises, construction equipment, aircraft engines, heavy farm machinery, live concerts (especially rock concerts) and other extremely loud noises.
In short, any noise that makes you flinch instinctively may very easily fall into the danger zone for decibel levels, for anything over 80 decibels can contribute towards hearing loss.
While hearing loss from continued exposure to loud noises does not happen overnight, the damage does accumulate, and the longer you expose yourself, the better your chances of suffering from some sort of hearing loss earlier in life.
In fact, you can actually damage your ears by listening to your iPod or Mp3 player with ear bud style earphones at too loud of a level.
By piping the sound directly into your ear canal you bypass many of the natural filters put in place to help keep the noises from damaging your ears and ruining the ability to not only hear music, but carry on normal conversations as well as other regular types of activities.