Coping With Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be also referred to as impairment could occur in either ear or both and presents itself on the grounds that the reducing of the ability of your ears together with its various parts to understand in addition to sense sounds. It could transpire either unexpectedly or slowly and gradually.
You may feel frustrated at times coping with someone who’s hearing impaired but try to remember it is also extremely difficult for them to understand what you are saying.
Types of Hearing Loss
There really are two principal forms of impaired hearing, sensorineural plus conductive. Sensorineural hearing loss is a result of injury to the inner ear or auditory nerve and it is everlasting.
This kind of damage can happen through injuries. Genetic factors, for example otosclerosis, may cause sensorineural impairement especially if irregular bone development inhibits the components with the inner ear from functioning properly.
These kinds of hereditary issues might make an appearance as we get older, as opposed to at birth.
For those who have conductive hearing loss sound waves can’t travel to your inner ear. Normally, this is as a result of earwax increase, fluid inside the ear, or perhaps a punctured eardrum.
Every one of these issues may be remedied through your physician or ENT specialist. In contrast to fashionable perception, a punctured eardrum could be repaired by health care or medical treatment.
Aging and hearing loss is in many cases noticed in older adults however it could happen to anybody or family member no matter what race, age or gender. It can certainly cover anything from being slight into a significant hearing incapacity and it may even be short-term, long lasting or relatively easy to fix.
You will find diverse causes for hearing problems where each one has their own distinct indicators. The treatment depends upon the form as well as which part or aspects of the auditory structure might be affected.
It is thought that some hearing people who work, or have worked, in a noisy environment where it is difficult to hear their colleagues, develop other skills to help them understand conversation for example a speech reading skill.
However there is a big difference between a hearing person lip reading for short periods and a hearing impaired person depending on lipreading for their main means of communication.
The hearing impaired person will be reading lips (and using a combination of other skills) all day, all week and every week.
There are three main factors involved in understanding speech (conversation) for the person who is impaired.
- Listening (for those people with risidual hearing)
Hearing Loss and Looking.
Impaired people need to look at the speaker to understand what is being said together with thinking (and listening if possible). Looking involves:
Watching the visible speech movements and parts of words and phrases.
Making the most of the speakers expression, gestures and any other visible clues.
Making the most of the surroundings and the situation (i.e. the place, the surrounding objects etc).
Some of The Difficulties of Looking Are
- Not all speech is visible on the lips. It is thought that only about 30% of speech can be seen on a clear speaker.
- Some people mumble and/or speak very fast therefore even less can be seen.
- Many words and phrases look the same. This can cause funny misinterpretation in some situations but can be most embarrassing and frustrating in others.
- Some people have no facial expression, and give no gestures at all (even the most common gesture like pointing) which reduces the number of clues for the hearing impaired person.
Hearing Loss and Listening.
The extent to which a person with hearing loss can listen depends on the type and degree of their hearing impairement, and the hearing aid they use.
Please note hearing aids or hearing device are as their name suggests simply aid and cannot restore the hearing to normal and impaired people need to listen together with looking and thinking to understand conversation.
- Using the aid to it’s best.
- Discrimination between noise and speech.
- Recognising speech sounds, words and phrases.
- Using memory of sound.
Some of the difficulties of listening are
- That speech is often distorted by the impairment and also sometimes by the aid.
- Some speech sound can never be heard for people with a sensorineural loss.
- That any background noise is amplified through the aid.
- Some people who are totally deaf try to imagine sound, or use their memory of sound.
- That people do not speak clearly.
Hearing Loss and Thinking.
People with normal hearing do not normally have to think to understand the words the speaker is saying as they hear automatically.
But, for someone who has hearing loss, thinking, together with looking (and listening if possible) plays a very large and important part if the conversation is to be understood. Thinking involves:
- Following and grasping the thought.
- Filling in those missing speech movements, words and phrases.
- Putting two and two together.
- Using the imagination.
Hearing impaired people also have to think about
- The knowledge of the person who is speaking.
- The subject of conversation.
- The situation.
Some of the difficulties of thinking are
- The amount of continual concentration that is needed.
- That the hearing impaired person needs to be alert for the whole time they are involved in conversation.
- The time it takes to put all the clues together to make sense of conversation.
- Impaired people are not always told of the topic of conversation, therefore using any knowledge, memory or imagination is greatly reduced.
- That the speaker might dart about from one topic to another without indication. This again would reduce “thinking power”.
Following and understanding conversation for hearing impaired people, and also vital for communication, involves using a combination of the factors above. Some people prefer to call it “Speech reading” rather than lip reading as it involves far more than just reading the lips.
Whichever term is used, it takes an enormous amount of concentration and is extremely tiring even for the most experienced lip reader. Lip reading is also dependent on a feeling of well-being.
When people are ill or having an off day, then following conversation would be more difficult for hearing impaired.
What Can You Do About Hearing Loss
When it comes to our hearing, it seems that many of us tend to take our ability for granted.
It is not until something happens to our hearing that we generally start taking a closer interest in the health of our ears.
But of course, once something happens, that is when people start to worry and then take action because no one wants to be without their ability to hear.
A hearing test is usually the first test performed when there is a decrease in the hearing ability of an individual.
Whether the hearing loss is small or large in size, a hearing test is the best way to start to figure out what exactly is going on.
For some people, the thought of going to an ear doctor simply makes their skin crawl and they would rather try to figure out things on their own.
While there is an online hearing test that can be done from home, if you see that you do actually have a hearing problem, there is no other thing to do other then seek professional medical help.
Without the right kind of help, your hearing ability could actually worsen over time.
If you do seek a professional hearing test and get treatment, your issue could be something that is possibly reversible.
Things To Consider with Hearing Loss
Even though setting up the doctors appointment and taking time off from work can seem like an inconvenience, not having your ability to hear will soon prove to be something much more disturbing.
The hearing test performed by a medical professional will quickly help to determine what exactly is going on with your ears.
The hearing test is not painful or anything that should be feared but certainly it should be taken seriously.
You must not try to cheat the test or give answers that you are unsure of as this could hinder your changes of getting the right kind of help.
The hearing test is also something that may need to be done several times in order to get a proper diagnosis of your hearing problem.
There are several different ways a hearing test is performed and these tests are more in likely going to need to be done over an extended period of time.
This is simply to track your hearing loss progress in hopes that treatment really is working.
Also, the hearing test will be used to make sure that your hearing problem is not getting worse because if it does, then new treatment and studies may have to be put into action quickly.