Your life. Your world. Your hearing.
Hearing is a vital piece of regular daily existence, yet a great many people don't mull over being ready to hear well. Talking with companions, listening to the hints of nature, getting a charge out of music, or listening to notice signals — with flawless listening to they can all be underestimated.
Listening to assumes a critical part in how your youngster identifies with their environment. It helps them shape connections and opens up an abundance of tactile encounters. It is likewise exceptionally perplexing and to a great degree delicate.
Signs of hearing loss.
Listening to misfortune for the most part grows gradually over numerous years, so the impacts just get to be obvious slowly. This makes it hard to perceive when you are really losing your listening ability. Truth be told, relatives, companions, or work associates are frequently the first to understand that something isn't right.
However, you're probably here because you've already noticed signs that your hearing is not as dependable as it should be. You've begun avoiding phone calls because it's too hard to understand the person at the other end of the line. Or you feel exhausted after social gatherings from straining to keep up with conversations.
These are all typical symptoms of hearing loss. But don't panic! Hearing loss is not something you simply have to endure. You can — and should — do something about it.
Many people find it hard to come to terms with the idea of wearing hearing aids. They put off the decision and only do something about it when the problems associated with poor hearing become too much to ignore.
The sooner you do something about hearing loss, the better. Even when hearing is just starting to deteriorate, hearing aids help to maintain the neural pathways in your brain responsible for hearing all the sounds around you. The longer you put off wearing hearing aids, the harder it will be to get used to them when you eventually do. More importantly, the longer you wait, the more you'll miss out on in life.
Learn more about hearing loss.
The most ideal approach to handle any medical problem is to take in more about it. The more educated you are the better prepared you'll be to settle on choices about seeking after next strides. We urge you to investigate whatever remains of this segment to pick up understanding into why listening to misfortune shouldn't be overlooked and how it can influence each part of your life.
Ready to find a solution?
Being able to hear well again has many positive effects. Studies show that the large majority of hearing aid wearers are very or extremely satisfied with their hearing aids. Experienced users report that their ability to socialize, along with their physical and mental well-being, have improved markedly. They feel fitter and much more ready to take on new things.
Be open to new hearing experiences. It will improve your quality of life.
tocWhat is hearing loss?
Hearing problems can occur in all parts of the ear. Conductive hearing loss involving the outer or middle ear can sometimes be treated with medication or surgery. However, a good 80 percent of all hearing loss is caused by dysfunctions of, or damage to, the inner ear, also known as sensorineural hearing loss. Some people experience both, while still others are only able to hear out of one ear. Fortunately, thanks to modern advances in technology, today's hearing aids can compensate for most inner ear-related difficulties and other forms of hearing loss.
No two cases of hearing loss are the same. Most often people with hearing loss are unable to distinguish soft tones and high-pitched sounds, and have difficulties hearing whispers, children's voices, or birdsong. Others can't hear low tones, like deep voices. Still others experience difficulties hearing high and low sounds. Whatever your challenges, the first step is an accurate diagnosis of your form of hearing loss, along with an assessment of how severe it is and what can be done to treat it.
Don't ignore hearing loss.
Hearing loss interferes with your life in many ways you might not realize. The following have all been associated with untreated hearing loss:
- Decreased attention
- Diminished understanding of speech
- Trouble communicating with others
- Diminished memory
- Unwillingness to embrace the unknown
- Decline in job performance
- Lack of acknowledgement by others
- Irritability, stress, depression
- Withdrawal from social life (isolation)
tocTypes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is typically identified as either sensorineural, conductive, a mix of these, or single-sided.
Sensorineural hearing loss.
Not at all like conductive listening to misfortune, sensorineural conditions just influence the internal ear or neural pathways. It is the most well-known kind of listening to misfortune. Sound is transmitted through the external and center ears regularly yet the inward ear is less productive in transmitting to the mind for handling, typically because of harm to the sound-related nerve, the cochlea, or potentially hair cells (the fine nerve endings inside the cochlea).
Sensorineural hearing loss results in reduction of the following:
- Overall volume
- Ability to understand speech clearly
- Sensitivity to higher frequencies, including soft high-pitched consonants such as s, f, th, and sh
It also affects the ability to understand high-pitched voices and sounds such as birds singing. Hearing aids are usually a preferred solution for this type of hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired later in life. Common congenital causes include the following:
- Hereditary conditions
- Viral infections
- Premature birth
- Injuries resulting in extreme lack of oxygen during birth
Later-in-life causes may include the following:
- Brain injury
- Noise exposure
- Ear infections
- Meningitis, encephalitis, or other diseases
Conductive hearing loss.
Conductive listening to misfortune as a rule comes about because of maladies or scatters that interfere with the sound transmission from the external or potentially center ear into the inward ear. In situations where the conductive listening to misfortune is transitory, it is frequently conceivable to rectify the condition with surgery, drug, or both. In different circumstances, listening devices can fundamentally enhance hearing.
Common causes of conductive hearing loss include the following:
- Birth defects or deformities
- Injury to the outer ear
- Ear infections
- Head trauma
- Blockage of the ear canal
- Perforation or stiffening of the ear drum or middle ear bones
With conductive hearing loss, the inner ear works properly but something is keeping sound from passing through the outer/middle ear to the inner ear.
Mixed hearing loss.
Some people have a mix of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Treatment options will likely include both medical intervention and hearing aids.
Single-sided hearing loss.
You might be able to hear well out of one ear and not at all out of the other. Single-sided deafness—also known as unilateral hearing loss—can make it hard to understand speech in loud environments or localize sound. You might miss important alerts or conversation coming from the side without hearing, and find understanding speech a challenge.
Now that you know more about the different forms hearing loss can take, find out how it can affect your life — emotionally, physically, and professionally.
tocImpact of Hearing Loss
By seeing, you learned to recognize your father's smile. By tasting, you learned you preferred peaches to spinach. And by hearing, you were lulled to sleep by your mother's singing.
The reduction or loss of one of your senses has a pronounced effect on your ability to participate in life, and the lives of those you care about. Losing your hearing can be particularly disturbing, because it is often associated with aging and loss of vitality.
The truth is hearing loss affects people of all ages and can be caused by a number of conditions besides growing old. The result is a life of increased isolation and loss of experiences and relationships that takes a profound toll emotionally, physically, and professionally.
Hearing loss takes an emotional toll.
"I find myself losing my temper with my grandchildren because they mumble all the time."
"Everyone cracked up when the boss asked me about last month's numbers, and I thought she said something about the sand in summer. I don't speak up in meetings anymore."
"I stopped going to my weekly mah-jongg game because I'm tired of asking everyone to repeat themselves—and I can tell they're sick of it, too."
Do any of these sound familiar? Even if you haven't experienced these exact scenarios, the emotions they evoke probably still resonate. The National Council on Aging studied the consequences of untreated hearing loss and found sufferers experience the following common feelings:
- Loss of self-confidence
Loss of hearing interferes with your ability to enjoy recreation, vacation, hobbies, and other pastimes and takes you out of the social scene. The resulting loneliness and isolation robs you of precious years.
Hearing loss can have a physical impact.
Hearing loss is often a symptom or outcome of other medical conditions (comorbidities), which can be very serious or even life-threatening. These are yet another reason not to ignore the symptoms of hearing loss. More than your hearing may be at stake.
Cardiovascular illness is the top reason for death in the United States. Poor cardiovascular wellbeing causes lacking blood stream all through your body, and one of the principal indications of an issue is vein injury to your inward ear, bringing about harm to delicate listening to nerves. The result is listening to misfortune, especially at the lower frequencies.The consequences of no less than one noteworthy study demonstrated a "critical relationship" between low-recurrence listening to misfortune and unsafe results of cardiovascular sickness, including strokes, coronary course illness, and heart assaults.
Despite the results of multiple studies linking hearing loss to the onset of dementia many people remain unaware that leaving hearing loss untreated poses a threat to cognitive health. The more profound the loss of hearing the greater the likelihood of cognitive decline. Hearing loss has also been associated with more rapid brain shrinkage, affecting areas of the brain responsible for processing speech, sound, memory, and sensory integration.
Theories as to why hearing loss a likely factor in the development of dementia in some patients point to straining to hear and understand despite hearing loss exhausting your mind and inhibiting its ability to function at peak performance. Also, If you cannot hear well you probably try to avoid social interactions requiring you to hold up conversation despite noise and crowds. Isolation is an established contributor to mental decline
Individuals with diabetes are twice as prone to endure listening to misfortune than those without. One study tried more than 5,000 people and discovered more than 30 percent of those determined to have diabetes likewise experienced listening to misfortune. Utilizing tests that deliberate capacity to hear at the low, mid, and high-frequencies in both ears, specialists have found a connection amongst diabetes and listening to misfortune at all frequencies, with a to some degree more grounded relationship in the high-recurrence go. Harm to nerves and veins in the inward ear are more normal in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Other conditions that have been linked to hearing loss include clinical depression and an increased risk of falls. The point is that ignoring your hearing loss could result in missing out on an early warning sign of a more serious health threat.
tocAm I Losing My Hearing?
Still not sure if you have hearing loss? Have a family member or friend you think is in denial about their own hearing ability? Answering the following questions will help you (and them) figure it out.
- People seem to mumble all the time.
- I can hear, but have trouble understanding what people are saying.
- I often ask people to repeat themselves.
- Telephone conversations are difficult.
- I don't hear household sounds anymore, like a faucet dripping or clock ticking.
- It's hard to hear without looking directly at the speaker's face.
- People tell me I speak too loudly.
- People say my television or radio volume is set too high.
- I hear ringing or buzzing noises in my ears, but I'm the only one who hears it.
- It's hard to follow conversations when I'm in a large group of people.
- I have trouble following conversations with more than two people at a time.
- I struggle to hear in crowded places, like restaurants and malls.
- I have a hard time hearing women or children.
If you answered "yes" to any of these, you might have hearing loss. If you haven't done so already, we recommend you continue reading through this section to learn more about what you may be facing.
If you answered yes to Question 9, alone or in conjunction with the other questions, you may have tinnitus, a condition which causes you to hear noises in your ears without an external source. We recommend you read our tinnitus section for more information on what you can do to address this irritating phenomenon.
Or, if you're ready to take the next step and find out how to treat your hearing loss, you can click to learn more about our hearing aid solutions.