Hearing loss and your quality of life
The sounds of nature, conversations with friends and family, music – our ears play an integral part in making all these activities enjoyable. Our ears are also natural warning system, capable of detecting oncoming traffic, registering a possible home break-in, or alerting us of any other potential dangers. We sometimes take these everyday things for granted, only becoming fully aware of that wonderful and complex organ – the ear – when things appear to go wrong.
You don’t have to wait for hearing loss to remind you how important it is to hear clearly. Our sense of hearing allows us to enjoy the sounds that surround us in our everyday lives, such as our favorite music and our grandchildren’s laughter.
Life is too short to live without the voices and sounds you cherish the most. The first thing to do when you are experiencing a hearing loss is to educate yourself. That is why you will find relevant information about hearing loss on this page for you to read at your leisure. If you would like more information, you can always speak to live hearing aid expert for free! Simply fill out the form or give us a call directly to learn how you can begin to hear better today!
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Advanced age is the most common cause of hearing loss. One out of three people age 65-74 has some level of hearing loss. After age 75, that goes up to one out of every two people.
Noise wears down hearing if it’s loud or continuous. People who work in noisy enviroments are most at risk. This includes metal workers, carpenters, construction workers, soldiers, miners, factory workers, farmers, and musicians.
Certain medications such as some antibiotics, Asprin, one of the drugs used to treat Maleria, some forms of chemotherepy.
Sudden hearing loss, the rapid loss of 30 decibels or more of hearing ability, can happen over several hours or up to 3 days. (A normal conversation is 60 decibels.) Sudden hearing loss usually affects only one ear.
Illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes put ears at risk by interfering with the ears’ blood supply. Otosclerosis is a bone disease of the middle ear, and Ménière’s disease affects the inner ear. Both can cause hearing loss.
Trauma, especially a skull fracture or punctured eardrum, puts ears at serious risk for hearing loss.
Infection or ear waxcan block ear canals and lessen hearing.
What are the Symptoms of Hearing Loss?
Normally, hearing fades so slowly you don’t notice it. You may think that people are mumbling more, your spouse needs to speak up, and you need a better phone. As long as some sound still comes in, you could assume your hearing is fine. But you may become more and more cut off from the world of speech and sounds.
Early on, high-pitched sounds, such as children’s and female voices, and the sounds “S” and “F” become harder to make out. Other symptoms can be having trouble following a conversation when more than one person speaks at once, thinking that other people are mumbling or not speaking clearly, often misunderstand what others say and respond inappropriately, get complaints that the TV is too loud, or hear ringing, roaring, or hissing sounds in your ears, known as tinnitus.
How is hearing loss classified?
Mild hearing loss: One-on-one conversations are fine, but it’s hard to catch every word when there’s background noise.
Moderate hearing loss: You often need to ask people to repeat themselves during conversations in person and on the phone.
Severe hearing loss: Following a conversation is almost impossible unless you have a hearing aid.
Profound hearing loss: You can’t hear when other people speaking, unless they are extremely loud. You can’t understand what they’re saying without a hearing aid or cochlear implant.
Don’t take your hearing for granted.
A large number of South Africans have some sort of hearing loss, and it can affect the quality of your life and relationships. Although we do not have good statistics in South Africa, it is the third most common health problem in the U.S. where about 48 million Americans have lost some hearing.