How Can I Improve My Hearing?
Unfortunately, many forms of hearing loss are permanent because there is no cure. Treatment methods that feature amplification fit to your specific hearing loss by a hearing care professional typically have the highest user satisfaction for improved hearing and improved quality of life.
How Can I Prevent Hearing Loss?
Protecting your hearing health from noise levels greater than 85 decibels at work and during leisurely activities will greatly reduce your chances of noise-induced hearing loss? Many manufacturing jobs require hearing protection in loud environments, but hearing protection is also recommended while ATV riding, hunting, attending concerts and sporting events, and playing music — all situations where your hearing is vulnerable.
What Should I Do If I Get Sudden Hearing Loss?
See your physician immediately; sudden hearing loss is considered a medical emergency. Sudden hearing loss typically resolves on its own within two weeks, but it might not — meaning your hearing might be gone for good. Seeking medical assistance within 72 hours of the onset of sudden hearing loss greatly improves the chances that your hearing will recover.
At What Age Do People Normally Get Hearing Loss?
Since hearing loss is cumulative, hearing loss begins as an infant and continues throughout life. Most individuals don’t begin to experience symptoms until their late 20s or early 30s, and by age 45 a yearly hearing check becomes of greater importance. One-third of people beyond the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss, however mild or severe, and that share of the elderly population increases as they age.
Are Some Types of Hearing Loss Easier to Treat?
Hearing loss is a puzzle that our professionals love to solve, and it is based on your individual experiences, lifestyle, and severity of impairment. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment method for hearing loss — it’s based on the sounds that you can’t hear, which vary greatly, and the sounds that you want to be able to hear. A quality hearing system from a reputable manufacturer isn’t effective until an experienced, qualified hearing care professional properly programs the technology based on your unique hearing needs.
Is Hearing Loss Hereditary?
Though it is difficult to say what genetic factors predispose individuals to hearing loss, there seems to be a connection. Some genetic disorders present at birth cause a hearing loss, but in the absence of a disease, hearing loss can still have a basis in your genetics.
Are There Any Health Downsides to Not Treating Hearing Loss?
Research has established a relationship between hearing loss and dementia. There is strong evidence that hearing loss accelerates brain-tissue atrophy, particularly in areas of the brain that auditory nerves would stimulate but can’t because they aren’t receiving a signal (due to a hearing loss). These areas of the brain are also related to memory and speech. Individuals with a mild hearing loss are three times as likely to fall down than those without, and the likelihood of falls increases as degree of hearing loss increases. Hearing loss has also been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sickle-cell anemia, and other circulatory conditions.
How Do I Know If I Have Hearing Loss?
- Do people seem to mumble, especially in noise?
- Do you have difficulty understanding the dialogue while watching television?
- Do you often ask other’s to repeat?
- Do you strain to hear soft voices such as women or small children’s voices?
- Do you remain quiet in conversations for fear of responding improperly?
In social situations, do you:
- Require frequent repetition?
- Have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people?
- Feel people are mumbling or sound muffled?
- Have difficulty hearing in noisy situations?
- Have trouble hearing children and women?
- Have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume?
- Answer or respond inappropriately in conversations?
- Have ringing in your ears?
- Read lips or more intently watch people's faces when they speak with you?
Emotionally, do you:
- Feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying?
- Feel annoyed at other people because you can't hear or understand them?
- Feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying?
- Withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have hearing loss.
Myths of Hearing Loss
1. Doesn’t Hearing Loss only affect “old people” and is merely a sign of aging?
The prevalence of hearing loss is the reverse of what most people think.
- The majority (65%) of people with hearing loss are younger than age 65.
- There are more than six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and nearly one and a half million are school age.
- Hearing loss affects all age groups.
2. If I had a hearing loss, wouldn't my family doctor have told me?
- Not necessarily! Only 13% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical.
- Since most people with hearing impairments hear well in a quiet environment, it can be virtually impossible for your physician to recognize the extent of your problem.
- Without special training, and an understanding of the nature of hearing loss, it may be difficult for your doctor to even realize you have a hearing problem.
Addressing Hearing Loss
- Healthy relationships rest largely on good communication. Addressing the problem can improved relationships at home and social lives.
- People with untreated hearing loss often feel angry, frustrated, anxious, isolated, and depressed.
- Enhance your emotional well-being. Research shows that when people with hearing loss use hearing aids, many feel more in control of their lives and less self-critical.
- Hearing loss with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults found that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time.
- Hearing your best at work helps you do your best.
- Most people wait 7 years longer than they should prior to seeking hearing aids.