Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hearing loss 1

I have a hearing loss, and I wear hearing aides, but it took me a long time to recognize the problem and to take steps to fix my problem. I think a lot of us as we grow older may be in denial about our hearing. So here is some information to help.

Hearing loss is the inability to hear soft sounds - it is the 3rd most common chronic disability among older adults (only arthritis and heart disease are more common) of Canadians who have a hearing loss include 56% of people from 55 to 64 years of age; 65% from 65 to 74; and 88% over 75.

Many people are unaware of their hearing loss, its severity and its effect on their lives and those around them. Up to 89% of people who would benefit from a hearing aid do not own one Hearing aid users have better mood and health, greater social participation and self sufficiency and less anxiety and depression than those with unmanaged healing loss.

Safety is compromised with hearing loss: the possibility of an accident increases by not hearing alarms, warning signals, doorbells or telephones Other common age-related changes in vision can make the communication difficulties of hearing loss even worse. Hearing loss is sometimes mistaken for depression or dementia and is not treated.

There are two types of hearing loss, Conductive and Sensorineural or “nerve deafness. Conductive hearing loss involves the middle ear - a disorder in sound transmission which interferes with sound waves progressing into the inner ear. This type of loss can be caused by wax, stiffening of the middle ear bones or perforated ear drum. It nay be treatable and reversible, sometimes requiring surgery, or by using hearing aids.

Sensorineural hearing loss involves the inner ear – a disorder of the cochlea (inner ear) or the nerves transmitting sound to the brain. It can be caused by noise exposure, aging, illness, medications or genetics. With this type of hearing loss, there is permanent damage to the inner ear, and the best treatment is often hearing aids. I have this type of hearing loss, which was caused by exposure to loud noise when I was young.
You can prevent of lessen hearing loss by limiting your exposure to noise and use hearing protection when you can’t avoid it. As we age, if we take folic acid and anti-oxidants; and reduce your calorie intake, this may slow down our hearing loss.

I was one of the 85% of people who did not recognize that I had a hearing loss. However, once I recognized that I had a problem, the warning signs seemed obvious, and  I regretted not taking action to fix my problem sooner. Some signs of hearing loss are:
·       Speech and other sounds seem faint or muffled
·       Speech from a distance or in noisy backgrounds is difficult to understand
·       Speech and other sounds seem distorted, slurred or unclear
·       Listening requires increased effort and attention

In addition to the above I had some of the following signs:
·       Volume of TV or radio was louder than others prefer
·       I was asking for repetition more often
·       I was accused of ignoring conversation partners or dominating the conversation

Some people with hearing loss will also withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities and appear to be confused and will give inappropriate responses to questions or conversations. If a person you love is experiencing hearing loss, but does not seem/want to acknowledge he issue, you have to approach them, but be patient, understanding and supportive by helping the individual realize the impact their hearing problem has on the lives of those around them – in a nonthreatening, non accusing way. Suggest booking a hearing test to rule out or identify the type of hearing loss

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