Hearing loss affects people in all walks of life and it is not something to be ashamed about. There are many different types of hearing loss, ranging from noise induced hearing loss to sensorineural hearing loss. The important thing is to understand that there are lots of people who are willing to help.
Do you feel you or someone you know might be experiencing hearing loss? You’re not alone. Hearing loss affects millions of people worldwide, with an estimated 14.5 million people being affected in the UK by 2031. At Hidden Hearing, we hope to help – by unravelling some of the mystery and stigma that surrounds deafness and hearing loss.
Within this section, you will find:
In many cases, hearing loss happens gradually over time – you might miss the odd word every so often or need the television louder than you did previously. It’s important to get the help you need as early as possible when you feel you might be experiencing a degree of hearing loss - hearing loss can have serious effects on our health and everyday lives. It is estimated that about 4 million people could benefit from using a hearing aid who do not currently use them.
With an advance in modern technology, allowing us to have the latest iPods, televisions and experience at music festivals, our ears are even more at risk than ever to develop a loss earlier. It’s not only the older generations that can suffer from hearing loss, but also the younger generations too.
It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of hearing loss for yourself and your loved ones so that you can know when it’s time to seek out help – we’re here to help you whenever you need it.
People suffering from hearing loss tend to find environments with background noise difficult, especially restaurants and public places. They often find it difficult to hear high-pitched sounds. Due to this, hearing impaired people have problems hearing the sounds ‘s’, ‘f’ and ‘sh’. This makes conversations more tiring. Due to these factors, hearing loss is one of the causes of social withdrawal.
Hearing loss is usually diagnosed when a person is unable to hear 25 decibels in at least one ear during a hearing test. Deafness is usually classified as profound hearing loss. The minimum sound level that people with profound hearing loss can hear is about 95 dB.
Some people find that one ear hears better than the other. Loss of hearing in one ear is called unilateral hearing loss. Approximately 69% of hearing aid users in Europe have two devices.
About 1 in 6 people are currently hearing impaired (about 1.1 billion people)
At the age of 65, one 1 in 3 people has a hearing loss
Hearing loss is the 3rd most common health condition among adults
Almost 15% of children aged 6-19 have some degree of hearing impairment in the USA
On average, people with hearing loss wait 8 years before getting treatment
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Hearing problems can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. Most people classified with ‘deafness’ have profound hearing loss, which implies very little or no hearing. It is possible to develop loss of hearing in one ear, although it usually affects both ears. Depending on the cause, hearing impairment can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. Sudden hearing loss typically results from a loud noise event.
Physically, there are two types of hearing loss: sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss.
People with and without hearing loss hear sounds such as wooshing, or ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is related to hearing loss, and people can gain some tinnitus relief from hearing aids. There is no tinnitus cure, but various tinnitus treatments can help to reduce the symptoms and their associated problems.
This first step is the critical one. But once you’ve made the first appointment with an audiologist, do you know what to do? One important consideration is to avoid going alone. When someone has hearing loss, it is often the people around them who notice more than the person themselves. Other people will be able to contribute more insights and the more information the audiologist gets, the more effective the treatment can be.
Many people experience a gradual loss of hearing as they get older. Noise-induced hearing loss results from repeated exposure to loud noises such as machinery and loud music. A more sudden hearing loss can result from exposure to very loud noises. Hearing loss that is noise induced often results from damage to the hair cells in the cochlear, which lose sensitivity. Among the other hearing loss causes are drugs, diseases, and physical trauma.
Living with hearing loss takes a little adjustment, but with modern treatment and hearing instruments, you can live a full and active life. Small, invisible hearing aids can sit so far in the ear canal they are undetectable, and well out of the way – so you can continue with energetic activities and forget you are wearing them. Besides hearing aids, there a few simple considerations that can help you adjust.
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