Mild or severe hearing loss can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Permanent noise-induced hearing loss can occur if a person exposed to extremely loud sounds for just a few minutes. People can prevent noise-induced hearing loss by taking certain precautions. Some studies have examined how external forces have an effect on hearing loss. Hearing impairment may increase a person’s risk of injury.
Prevalence and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Around 10 million Americans are hard of hearing, and approximately one million are functionally deaf. Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss among adults under 70. People who experience significant hearing loss may have difficulty understanding words in loud group settings. Speech may sound muffled and distant. They may also have trouble hearing consonants.
People who experience hearing loss may begin to withdraw from social settings. It may be too difficult for them to carry a regular conversation because they need to frequently ask people to repeat things more slowly. The person may misinterpret things being said. These communication barriers may create disruptions in the workplace. Many employees have difficulty approaching their bosses to discuss their hearing impairment. It can also be harder to hear other people on the phone. Devices that make faint beeping sounds may now become inaudible.
Studies on Injuries Related to Hearing Loss
A May 2018 paper examined whether or not hearing loss was associated with accidental injuries. The paper determined there was a significant relationship between hearing loss and accidental injuries. Hearing impairment may cause a person to fail to hear a necessary alarm or warning. One example is a smoke alarm. A person who is having difficulty hearing things may barely notice when a smoke alarm goes off. The person may instead hear a faint ringing and ignore it because he is sleeping. A 2009 study determined that some smoke alarms were more effective than others at waking up people who were hard of hearing. People with severe or total hearing loss should use pillow shakers. These create a vibration to tell the person the smoke detector is going off. People with mild to moderate hearing loss should use a low-frequency smoke detector. A 520 hertz square wave auditory signal is the best sound in these specific circumstances.
Hearing Loss Treatment with Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are used to treat sensorineural hearing loss. The ears cannot pick up sounds as easily because the hairs inside the ear have withered. This happens naturally as a person ages, but it can also happen if the person is exposed to extremely loud noises. The hearing aids amplify sounds the ears can still pick up. This makes it easier for the ears to hear quieter sounds.
It’s important for those who are interested in purchasing hearing aids to look at the available options. The hearing aid market is fairly large, and many companies offer distinct products that meet specific consumer needs. You may need to go to a hearing aid center to receive consultation from a professional. An audiologist will test your hearing and recommend different products for you to try.
The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
There are many reasons you should treat hearing loss as soon as possible. Hearing loss is linked with depression. You will likely develop stronger interpersonal relationships at the workplace. You’ll be able to communicate better with your family and friends. You’ll also be more alert during a crisis. Music will also be more enjoyable. People who are hard of hearing experience a reduction in the total range of sounds their ears can pick up. Hearing aids may make it easier to hear quieter sounds.
Untreated hearing loss can also cause psychological distress. People may feel isolated because it is harder for them to communicate with others. These communication barriers may reduce a person’s quality of life. If you are losing your hearing, then it may help to speak with an audiologist to determine the cause of your problem. You may have sensorineural hearing loss or conductive hearing loss. Both forms of hearing loss are treatable to a certain extent. Sensorineural hearing loss can be treated with a hearing aid implant. A doctor may recommend surgery to treat conductive hearing loss.