Hearing loss only happens when you become old and grey.
It is estimated 31.5 million people report hearing difficulty. This is approximately 10% of the U.S. population. Although most people believe that hearing loss is a sign of aging, the majority (65%) of people with hearing loss are younger than age 65.
My hearing loss is not that bad, I think I will wait a while before I consult anyone about it.
Helen Keller stated, “When you lose your sight, you lose contact with things. When you lose your hearing, you lose contact with people.” The onset of hearing loss is usually very gradual and often begins with difficulty in hearing certain pitches and soft sounds or difficulty understanding speech in noisy settings. Typically, by the time an individual begins to notice these difficulties, it is time to have their hearing tested.
Many individuals wait an average of 7-9 years before seeking help for hearing loss. During those 7-9 years, the ear and brain are beginning to forget the everyday sounds that they no longer hear. This diminished hearing becomes the “norm” for you. Those around you notice the television volume, your requests for repetition when most others have understood what was said, your agitation level, your withdrawal in social gatherings and depression increasing. Family requests for individuals to seek help arise from the observation of these behaviors and the desire to have their loved one to live a full life.
For those who are still working, the hearing loss can create resentment by coworkers in having to frequently repeat in stressful settings. Supervisors may feel that you are ignoring them or incapable of following directions. Many times people are overlooked for promotion because of these behaviors.
If I have my hearing tested, they will only try to sell me a hearing aid.
Although many individuals who are tested for hearing loss will be advised that hearing aids are their option for improving communication abilities, many times the remediation for the hearing loss is in the form of medical intervention.
Hearing aids amplify everything the same amount and the background noise will drive me crazy.
One aspect of amplification that most new hearing aid users do not consider is the re-introduction of the sounds that have been forgotten. Once the ear and brain have adapted to these re-introduced sounds, they will begin to ignore those that are unwanted and they will become less noticeable.
As the new hearing aid computer chip technology becomes more and more sophisticated, the background noise interference with speech becomes less and less. Modern day hearing aids are digital and offer various numbers of frequency bands that can be manipulated to amplify the weak areas of hearing as needed. Many of the manufacturers also use multiple microphones, multiple environment settings, automatic adaptation to different environments and Bluetooth to improve the speech enhancement of the hearing aids. Most research and design in the hearing aid industry is aimed at improving sound quality while decreasing hearing aid size.
Call Barrington Hearing Center at (847) 382-5700 for more information or to schedule an appointment.