HEARING LOSS

Whatever your hearing needs, it is beneficial to know some of the ins and outs of hearing loss. There is a lot of information about hearing loss that can be very important to understanding your own health and healthy hearing, but also those of family members, loved ones, and coworkers who may be experiencing hearing loss. The more you know, the better you will be able to communicate with those around you.


WHAT IS HEARING LOSS?


There are three types of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the tiny hair cells in the inner ear become damaged. Another type is called conductive hearing loss: when there is a blockage between the outer ear, the middle ear, and/or the middle ear. This makes it difficult for sound waves to travel and, as a result, louder sounds can become muffled and softer sounds can sometimes not be heard at all. Mixed hearing loss occurs when there are problems conducting sound to the inner ear, as with conductive hearing loss. At the same time, the inner ear’s hair cells are also damaged, as happens in sensorineural hearing loss.

There is another form of hearing loss that is categorized under the umbrella term “auditory processing disorder.” The brain can sometimes have difficulty processing the information contained in sound itself. It can take a long time to process where sounds are coming from or to distinguish one sound from others. The brain can also have difficulties making sense of how sounds are ordered, making it difficult for someone to understand a conversation right in front of them because there is background noise.

There is a myth that hearing loss only affects elderly people. It is true that the signs of hearing loss may increase with age. It is not true, however, that only old people experience hearing loss: hearing loss affects people of all ages. In the United States, there are nearly six million people between the ages of 18 and 44 who are experiencing hearing loss. Many people are affected by hearing loss because many of the roots are produced through environmental factors. Temporary and long-term hearing loss can result from exposure to sustained loud noises while at work in places such as factories or sites that use heavy machinery. It can also occur from frequently using in-ear headphones and/or listening to headphones at a sustained, loud volume.


WHO IS AFFECTED BY HEARING LOSS?



WHO IS AFFECTED BY HEARING LOSS?


There is a myth that hearing loss only affects elderly people. It is true that the signs of hearing loss may increase with age. It is not true, however, that only old people experience hearing loss: hearing loss affects people of all ages. In the United States, there are nearly six million people between the ages of 18 and 44 who are experiencing hearing loss. Many people are affected by hearing loss because many of the roots are produced through environmental factors. Temporary and long-term hearing loss can result from exposure to sustained loud noises while at work in places such as factories or sites that use heavy machinery. It can also occur from frequently using in-ear headphones and/or listening to headphones at a sustained, loud volume.

Why Should Hearing Loss Be Addressed?

Hearing loss greatly affects your physical and mental well-being. Taking steps to address hearing loss improves abilities to communicate with those around you. People experiencing hearing loss may find themselves anxious about being in public, unwilling to see friends and family, and having difficulties at work. To this end, people experiencing hearing loss are at risk of depression and anxiety. This can especially be the case for people who are recently experiencing symptoms. It can be quite frustrating to adjust diminishing hearing capabilities and to new communication patterns. There are also the struggles of adjusting to a new, or switching to a different style of, hearing aid.

There are also direct links between untreated hearing loss and elevated risks of falls and accidents. Untreated hearing loss affects people’s abilities to tune themselves to their surroundings, and changes in the environment (whether it is a chair out of place or a pet moving through the room who can’t be heard) can lead to severe missteps.


How Can Hearing Loss Be Treated?

Hearing loss cannot be cured, but there are many things you can do to maintain your hearing levels and prevent future loss. The first step is always to visit us at Southeast Medical Hearing where our team will work with you to assess your hearing loss and begin the path of healthier hearing habits. With professional guidance, you may find that you are in need of a hearing aid—there are many styles that will suit whatever your needs may be.

There are other ways that you can maintain healthy hearing every day.

This includes, first and foremost, avoiding loud noises! You can do simple things such as covering your ears when confronted by sudden loud sounds such as police sirens, or having ear plugs on-hand for when you enter loud spaces such as a concert.

Get in touch with Southeast Medical Hearing Centers

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