Our hearing is at work for us 24 hours a day, whether we are talking to loved ones, listening to the radio, watching TV, or interacting with peers on the job. Effective communication through hearing is a vital part of living.
About Hearing Loss
Untreated hearing loss can be frustrating and isolating. According to a study by the National Council on Aging, people with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression and anxiety and participate less in social activities than those who wear hearing aids.
Although hearing problems are typically associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing impaired persons are under the age of sixty-five.
Who should be treated?
It is always a good idea to practice hearing loss prevention techniques, but hearing loss can still sneak up on you. If you experience any of the below signs, you should see an audiologist.
- Difficulty hearing on the telephone
- Trouble hearing birds, wind, alarms/ bells, women and children
- Turning the TV volume too high for others
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
- Trouble hearing words or music when there is background noise
- Difficulty following conversations in groups
- Feeling that many people mumble
- Misunderstanding words and responding inappropriately, or nodding/smiling when you haven’t really understood what was said
- Frequent ringing, roaring, or hissing in the ears
If someone you know has a hearing problem:
- Face the person and talk clearly.
- Stand where there is good lighting and low background noise.
- Speak clearly and at a reasonable speed.
- Do not hide your mouth, eat, or chew gum.
- Use facial expressions or gestures to give useful clues.
- Reword your statement if needed.
- Be patient, stay positive and relaxed.
- Ask how you may help the listener.
- Set up meetings so that all speakers can be seen or can use a microphone.
- Include the hearing-impaired person in all discussions about him or her to prevent feelings of isolation until he or she can be fitted with the most appropriate hearing aids.