Things People with Hearing Loss Wish Others Understood

  • By pugetsound
  • 11 Jul, 2017
Though hearing loss is the third most common medical condition in the United States, it is not often discussed. In some cases, discussing hearing loss comes with the taboo of aging, while in other cases, people simply don’t notice because it is an invisible condition. As an invisible condition, hearing loss tends to develop gradually, sometimes over a span of many years. While hearing loss may affect people at any age, it tends to be most common among people age 65 years or older. Regardless of age, hearing loss affects 20% of the population in the US. People with hearing loss tend to treat the condition with hearing aids. Hearing aids provide people with hearing loss access to clear sounds and improved speech recognition, among a number of other incredible features. Hearing aids bring significant benefit to people who experience hearing loss; they reconnect people to the sounds in their life. Even with hearing aids, however, people with hearing loss find themselves in situations where communication may be difficult. In other instances, there are myths that need to be dispelled about hearing loss. Here, we’ve compiled the Internet for things people with hearing loss wish others understood about the condition.

#1: Hearing versus Understanding

This is a big one. It is a common misconception that people with hearing loss need sounds to be LOUDER. In fact, hearing loss makes it difficult to understand – and that includes the nuances of speech, especially against loud background noise. In some cases of hearing loss, people may pick up only bits and pieces of speech, with missing words or sounds in between. This could make it difficult to understand what’s being communicated. With this common experience with hearing loss, a rise in volume doesn’t necessarily help with comprehension. In other words, if you’re communicating with a friend or family member who experiences hearing loss, there’s no need to shout or raise your voice! Shouting or raising your voice often doesn’t make things easier to understand. Instead, it may be easier to repeat what you’re saying, more clearly. Turning to face the person with hearing loss also helps, as they can read visual cues, or your lips if necessary.

#2: Hearing Aids Do Not Cure Hearing Loss

Unfortunately, hearing loss is a permanent condition. The closest thing to restoring hearing for people with hearing loss is the prescription of hearing aids, selected and fitted to treat the specific degree and configuration of loss, which differs greatly person to person. These days, hearing aids are incredibly advanced with many incredible features to help us pick up and process sounds in our environment. They help discriminate speech from background noise, they help locate the source of sound, and they even allow us to stream phone calls, music, and other media directly to our ears. Even so, hearing aids are not always perfect. There are times when we need to adjust our hearing aids to adapt to our current environment.

#3: The Emotional Side of Hearing Loss

To put it bluntly, we’re still adjusting as a society and culture to people with hearing loss. There are always awkward experiences with hearing loss – from people speaking very slowly in dumbed down speech to people answering questions on our behalf. Similarly, there are instances where people get mad at us because they think we are ignoring them or not fully listening. On the first count, people with hearing loss do not need speech dumbed down on our behalf. If we mishear something, it’s enough for you to repeat what you said – perhaps more slowly and clearly – so that we can answer for ourselves. On the second count, keep in mind that hearing loss comes in many different degrees and configurations. This means that some of us are unable to hear sounds coming from the right side or the left side, while others find it difficult to make sense of high-pitched voices. If we don’t hear you initially, don’t take it personally!

#4: Hearing Loss Can Be Exhausting

Hearing loss takes a lot out of us – and that’s scientifically proven! Studies at Johns Hopkins University have found that untreated hearing loss requires more brain power to hear, and could even overload our cognitive abilities as we attempt to make sense of sound. Even with hearing aids, we may become overwhelmed in especially loud environments. People with hearing loss benefit from quiet time, relaxation exercises, or just a quick break from sound. If we disappear at a loud party or if we want to stand away from the noise at parties, it’s not that we don’t want to be there! It’s just that a little break goes a long way to ensuring our well-being. Do you believe you, or someone you know, is experiencing hearing loss? There’s no reason to live with untreated hearing loss. Contact us at Puget Sound Hearing Aids and Audiology today to schedule a hearing test.

Puget Sound Hearing & Audiology

By pugetsound 14 Jul, 2017
Tinnitus, which is often referred to as a “ringing of the ears,” affects 45 million Americans, including a large number of war veterans. Individuals suffering from tinnitus will hear pops, white noise, whistles, bursts of air without any external auditory stimulus; tinnitus is a sound that comes from within. Though tinnitus has been linked with hearing loss, there is no singular cause for it. There are two types of tinnitus, subjective and objective. Objective tinnitus is rare, comprising of less than 1% of tinnitus cases; with this type, both the person experiencing tinnitus and a person sitting nearby can hear the sounds. On the other hand, subjective tinnitus is the most common type, comprising 99% of cases. Subjective tinnitus is often linked with hearing loss. The Hearing Health Foundation estimates that 90% of tinnitus cases occur with an underlying hearing loss.
By pugetsound 11 Jul, 2017
Though hearing loss is the third most common medical condition in the United States, it is not often discussed. In some cases, discussing hearing loss comes with the taboo of aging, while in other cases, people simply don’t notice because it is an invisible condition. As an invisible condition, hearing loss tends to develop gradually, sometimes over a span of many years. While hearing loss may affect people at any age, it tends to be most common among people age 65 years or older. Regardless of age, hearing loss affects 20% of the population in the US. People with hearing loss tend to treat the condition with hearing aids. Hearing aids provide people with hearing loss access to clear sounds and improved speech recognition, among a number of other incredible features. Hearing aids bring significant benefit to people who experience hearing loss; they reconnect people to the sounds in their life. Even with hearing aids, however, people with hearing loss find themselves in situations where communication may be difficult. In other instances, there are myths that need to be dispelled about hearing loss. Here, we’ve compiled the Internet for things people with hearing loss wish others understood about the condition.
By pugetsound 03 Jul, 2017
When we think of hearing loss, we tend to think about how we have to turn up the volume on our devices, or how it affects communication with our friends and family. Untreated hearing loss has long been linked to a range of health problems, as revealed by medical studies concerning areas such as dementia, balance, heart disease, and depression. As the third most common medical condition, hearing loss affects 48 million Americans, and one in three people over the age of 60. Approximately 60% of the workforce experiences some degree of hearing loss. While we tend to think of hearing loss affecting many circumstances external to us, it is also important to take a look inward. In the past few years, new light has been shed on how hearing loss affects our energy levels and our emotional well-being. A series of studies have linked untreated hearing loss to fatigue, including how hearing loss may affect the daily activities of people who are experiencing changes in their hearing – but have yet to seek treatment. Here we take a look at some of these studies and provide a few tips on self-care to prevent hearing loss fatigue.
By pugetsound 30 Jun, 2017
Hearing loss, if left untreated, has the potential to adversely affect many different areas of your life. Studies have indicated that people with untreated hearing loss tend to have lower earning power than colleagues who treat hearing loss with hearing aids. Additionally, people with untreated hearing loss are at higher risk for accidents, falls, and developing dementia. While these scenarios are more serious implications of untreated hearing loss, there is another side. We know that untreated hearing loss could affect our interpersonal relationships, due to difficulties with communication. Over time, people with untreated hearing loss withdraw and isolate themselves, so they do not have to struggle with communication. As such, people with hearing loss tend to be at risk for depression and anxiety. Researchers from Washington State University further explore this connection with a study on the link between your mood, dopamine levels, and hearing loss.
By pugetsound 30 Jun, 2017
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By pugetsound 23 Jun, 2017
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By pugetsound 20 Jun, 2017
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By pugetsound 16 Jun, 2017
Hearing loss is a natural part of the normal aging process. It affects a significant portion of those over the age of sixty-five. Now that Baby Boomers are approaching this life stage, we’ll probably be hearing more and more about the effects of this phenomena, as a much larger percentage of our population will now be dealing with these challenges than ever before. A recent study by the National Council on Aging found that people with hearing loss were 50% more likely to experience depression. Of particular note is that this was specific to those with untreated hearing loss, making early detection and intervention even more important.
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By pugetsound 06 Jun, 2017
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