Hearing loss significantly impacts your quality of life. Statistics indicate that about 11.5 million Americans, around 3.5% of the population, have some kind of hearing impairment, from difficulties in following conversations to complete hearing loss. Seniors with hearing loss may experience stress and depression because communication becomes challenging, resulting in feelings of isolation. This condition may also be connected to cognitive decline and impairment.
When untreated, hearing loss can lead to mental anguish and affect your social life. While hearing loss can be prevented, you can live with it if you get it. Here's how to live with hearing loss.
Myths about hearing loss are common, with some being wrong assumptions while others are ancient stereotypes. Lack of access to clear hearing loss information may result in misconceptions that might cause you to live an unhealthy and unhappy life. Understanding hearing loss myths and debunking them can help clear any hearing loss misunderstandings and take the proper steps toward ear health care.
Consider researching hearing loss to educate yourself about the disease and consult specialists to learn more. Accepting your hearing loss condition and living with it becomes easier with the correct information.
Getting a hearing assessment, like a detailed diagnostic test, is an excellent way to determine your hearing damage's extent and the real cause of your hearing loss. This kind of examination can lead to further medical assessments, including magnetic resonance imaging and blood tests, to rule out underlying medical issues that could be the cause of your hearing loss.
A comprehensive hearing test may include checking the inside of the ear canal, conducting a tone test, evaluating your ability to register and understand speech, bone conduction testing, and eardrum mobility. With the result, your audiologist can recommend the best cause of action to ensure good quality of life.
Using communication skills can increase your chances of hearing and understanding better. You can begin by informing the people you're talking to that you have hearing loss and ask them to face you when they speak. Use visual cues, including lip-reading, to naturally figure out a word you might have missed.
You can also piece in missed information if you know a conversation’s general context if you don’t hear every word during a conversation. Reducing background noise, asking for clarifications and repeats, concentrating, and keeping calm can help you communicate better with others.
Hearing aids are small electronic devices worn in or behind the ear to make sounds louder for people with hearing loss to listen, converse, and fully participate in daily activities. They can help you in a noisy and quiet environment. Hearing aids are mainly helpful for enhancing speech and hearing comprehension in people with sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by inner ear hair cell damage. Get a hearing test before choosing your hearing aids to pick suitable ones.
Assistive listening devices are any devices besides hearing aids that make it easy for people with hearing loss to communicate more successfully via sound amplification or vibrotactile or visual alerts. These devices may include telephone and television aids, signaling or alerting devices, and more.
Hearing loss complicates life and impacts mental health. However, learning how to live with hearing loss can help improve the quality of life, ensuring good health and happiness.