Monday, May 27, 2024

How To Deal With Hearing Loss

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Suggest A Visit To The Audiologist And Have Your Hearing Tested Too

How to deal with hearing loss – with Dr Hilary Jones

Be a motivating force in the life of a friend or loved on with untreated hearing loss. Recommend a visit to your local hearing center and/or Audiologist for a routine hearing test. Most of the time, standard hearing test are offered at little to no cost. Audiologists agree that having a second person with you during the hearing screening is very beneficial. The other person becomes a valuable point of reference to reduce potential nerves and help serve as anchor.

A loved one isnt just your significant other, it can also include your parents, grandparents, or even just a friend youre looking out for. If theres someone in your life that is having trouble with their hearing, encourage them to get a professional opinion from a specialist. At the very least, you can shower your loved one with praise, positive affirmations, and TLC.

You can help your loved one actively take steps to improve their hearing that will make a lasting difference in their overall quality of life. One of the first ways would be recommending the use of hearing aids. Modern technology has come a long way in helping others take back their hearing and is only getting better.

Scheduling a visit to a hearing clinic is the first step. Make the effort together. Your local audiologist or hearing aid professional is equipped to handle and explain the objections and hesitations your loved one may have.

How To Tell If You Have Experienced Hearing Loss

by Tanya Gonzalez

Hearing loss is a very difficult thing to deal with. When your hearing starts to deteriorateeven if its minoryour ability to experience the world around you and how you interact with loved ones is affected. While there are times when people experience a slight and temporary loss of hearing, such as after attending a loud concert or getting swimmers ear, a gradual and/or lingering loss of hearing may be permanent.;

Anyone who has experienced any kind of hearing loss should seek medical attention. That being said, it can be difficult for people to tell the difference between temporary and permanent hearing loss, and thus, the severity of their condition. However, individuals who experience any type of hearing loss should get checked out by a doctor or audiologist because if left untreated, the condition may worsen. In some cases, what may have originally been a temporary loss of hearing can become permanent when treatment isnt sought out as soon as possible.;

So how can you tell if youve experienced hearing loss? Weve got the answer. First, lets explore what exactly causes or contributes to hearing loss.;

Getting Tested For Hearing Loss

  • 1Visit an ear, nose, and throat doctor. If you suspect hearing loss, you should visit an ear, nose, and throat specialist to get a physical exam. You may be required to give a medical history and explain certain behaviors or habits related to your hearing. This doctor will rule out any underlying medical condition that may be causing your hearing loss.
  • Your doctor will physically examine the ear to see if there is excess water or wax in the ear causing hearing problems.
  • You may want to visit your general physician first if you are not sure if you have any hearing loss.
  • 2Visit an audiologist. You may choose to see an audiologist for a hearing exam. If you see a general physician or ear, nose, and throat specialist first, they may refer you to an audiologist when they discover any hearing damage. If you know you have hearing damage, you may choose to go to the audiologist first, but you may have to sign a waiver since the FDA requires a patient to go to a general physician first before an audiologist.
  • Your audiologist can help you determine the extent and type of hearing loss that you have. They may also produce an audiogram of your hearing loss.
  • An audiologist will also help you determine what treatment options are right for you, such as hearing aids.
  • You will also be given different pitches in each ear. Your ears may have different types or severities of hearing loss, so this test will help determine the specific hearing loss for each ear.
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    Diabetes And Hearing Loss

    In the United States, there are approximately 34.2 million Americans with diabetes. Studies show that those who have diabetes and are insulin-dependent have a higher risk of damage to their hearing structures. This can lead to a gradual decrease in hearing. For the 14.3 million Americans who have diabetes and are age 65 and older, this creates particularly difficult situation: not only can their diabetes contribute to hearing loss, but older people may assume that their hearing loss is simply a result of agingso they dont always take preventative measures that could protect their hearing.

    Inform Them If They Miss Something

    How to Cope with Hearing Loss

    If you say something and get the feeling that it wasnt heard correctly the first time. Signs of this usually come in the form of facial expressions or prolonged answer while what was heard, or not heard, is being processed. Dont be quick to assume, but its always okay to make sure someone didnt miss a part of the conversation rather than skipping over it. Give a little notice if the conversation changes if you think they may have missed the switch. Better a friendly reminder than shrugging it off or ending the conversation.

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    Looking For Signs Of Hearing Loss In Other Adults

  • 1Observe how the adult reacts to when approached. If you have an adult, especially an elderly adult, who seems to be startled easily when someone approaches them, they may have a hearing loss. For example, if you knock and enter a room, and they act startled when they finally see you, they may be having trouble hearing what’s happening in their environment.
  • The adult may also not realize someone has entered their home or the room until after the fact.
  • The adult may not realize someone is speaking to them until they are physically touched or they have turned towards the person speaking.
  • This can difficult and frustrating, especially for elderly people. Take extra steps to ensure you don’t startle them to prevent any traumatic reactions.XResearch source
  • 2Notice changes in basic interactions. Hearing loss in someone else can be difficult to recognize since you are not experiencing the symptoms. Look for signs like turning the TV volume up excessively, constantly asking you to repeat yourself, or a general lack of awareness of sounds around them.
  • Any of the problems commonly mentioned above in recognizing hearing loss in yourself can also apply.
  • You may want to take them to an audiologist or a doctor that can evaluate them and recommend treatments.
  • Ways To Deal With A Person Who Has A Hearing Problem

    Collateral Consequences Of Hearing Loss

    Do you have relatives or coworkers that are losing their hearing? Have you had little skirmishes on minutiae based on miscommunication? Or do such individuals seem generally withdrawn, and sad? Oftentimes hearing loss affects people in a negative way. Some are able to contend with it in a way that is so exceptional, you wouldnt know they have a problem.

    A lot of people have difficulty, though. Even Helen Keller seems to indicate hearing issues are worse than those involving sight; and she would know. Those who contend with hearing issues from birth dont have quite the same issues as those who quickly or gradually lose hearing in later life, but they have their own difficulties in learning and social interaction.

    In this writing well briefly explore what hearing issues do to people, and what you can do to help them.

    A Deeper Look At How Hearing Problems Affect People

    Going deaf or losing your hearing makes it difficult for you to communicate with the outside world meaningfully, which can lead to depression, irritability, and cognitive development issues in the young. For those who lose hearing with age, irritation tends to be a primary consequence. If someone you know is getting angry regularly, hearing could be the issue.

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    Face The Person Directly When Talking

    Face-to-face conversation makes it very clear who youre talking to. Calling something out from another room can make it harder to hear. The same goes if youre looking down or off in other directions when talking in a more crowded or loud setting. For individuals with a profound hearing loss, the ability to use lip movement for added context is warmly welcomed.

    How Hearing Aids Can Help People Who Have Experienced Hearing Loss

    STGEC Elevator Minute ~ How to Deal with Hearing Loss (2013)

    Hearing aids can help people with any range of hearing loss regain the ability to hear a range of sounds. While there are many different types of hearing aids, its important for anyone who has experienced a reduction in their ability to hear a variety of sounds clearly to know that there are options. Not everyone needs to undergo a fitting with an audiologist nor obtain a prescription to get hearing aids. Some people with mild to moderate hearing loss can actually obtain hearing aids on their own. Thats where we come in.

    SoundBright allows anyone who has experienced hearing loss to easily browse and purchase affordable, medical-grade hearing aids from the comfort of their home. We offer a variety of devices that can be purchased online and offer Care Calls with licensed hearing professionals that can answer questions about hearing loss, the devices themselves, and what to expect when using hearing aids for the first time.;

    If you feel as though you have experienced hearing loss in any capacity, we are here for you. Check out our website to browse our available hearing devices and choose the one that best suits your needs.;

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    Use An App To Translate From Spoken Word To Written Word Or Use Texting

    There are numerous apps that can be downloaded that can allow you to speak into a smart phone and have your words show up on the screen for the person with hearing loss to read. One such app is called Dragon. The use of texting is also an efficient use to supplement communication.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/01/2019.


    • Hearing Loss Association of America. Accessed 10/29/2018Do You Think You Have a Hearing Loss?
    • Medwetsky L. Hearing loss. In: Duthie: Practice of Geriatrics, 4th ed. Saunders; An Imprint of Elsevier; 2007 :294-295.

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

    How Can I Tell If I Have A Hearing Loss

    Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to three or more of these questions, you could have a hearing loss and might need to have your hearing checked.

    • Do you sometimes feel embarrassed when you meet new people because you struggle to hear?
    • Do you feel frustrated when talking to people because you have difficulty hearing them?
    • Do you have difficulty hearing or understanding co-workers, clients, or customers?
    • Do you feel restricted or limited when you have a problem hearing?
    • Do you often think, I can hear but I dont understand what is being said?
    • Do you have trouble understanding the dialogue on internet videos, movies, or in the theater?
    • Does a communication issue due to poor hearing cause you to argue with family members?
    • Do you ask people to repeat what they say?
    • Do you think others mumble?
    • Do you have difficulty hearing on the phone?
    • Do you have trouble hearing the TV or radio and turn up the volume that is too loud for others?
    • Do you feel your personal or social life is limited?
    • Do you have trouble hearing your dining companions when you are together in a restaurant?

    Adapted from: Newman, C.W., Weinstein, B.E., Jacobson, G.P., & Hug, G.A. . The Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults : Psychometric adequacy and audiometric correlates. Ear Hear, 11, 430-433.

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    What Are Your Coping Techniques

    Hearing loss makes an already challenging health problem like tinnitus much more difficult to endure. But its not the life sentence it might seem like at first. Even in the worst cases of suffering, there is still so much hope and the real possibility of relief.

    These suggestions are;not meant to be an exhaustive exploration of coping tools for hearing loss patients with tinnitus. But hopefully its enough to get started, and many of these techniques have benefited me personally in my own journey to find relief from the ringing in my ears.

    When youre suffering from tinnitus, especially with hearing loss, you need to use every helpful tool, technique, and strategy that you can to find the relief you deserve.

    Know of any other good coping strategies for tinnitus and hearing loss? Leave a comment below.

    Have questions? Want to connect? You can contact me at my blog,;

    Recognizing Signs Of Hearing Loss In Yourself

    How To Deal With Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
  • 1Consider age-related hearing loss. Hearing loss that occurs gradually with advancing age is called presbycusis. Hearing loss associated with age is very common and affects nearly half of individuals over the age of 75. This form of hearing loss is the result of several changes to the ears that occur over a lifetime.XResearch source
  • Chronic health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes can kill sensory cells in the ears that do not grow back.
  • Exposure to loud sounds that have resulted in the death of sensory cells adds up over time.
  • Age related changes to structures to the ear, such as the eardrum and ossicles, affect the ability of the ear to function optimally.
  • Age-related hearing loss typically affects high-frequency sounds. It is usually branded as “sensorineural hearing loss”.
  • 2Rule out trauma induced hearing loss. People of all ages can experience hearing loss due to trauma of some sort. If you have recently experienced a physical trauma that may explain your hearing loss, this may be the culprit.XResearch source
  • Very loud sounds can damage your eardrums, and so can prolonged exposure to noise. Sound is measured in units called decibels. Sounds under 75 decibels usually do not cause traumatic hearing loss even after prolonged exposure. Sounds measuring 85 decibels or over are associated with hearing loss after prolonged exposure. Examples of these potentially damaging sounds come from motorcycles , sirens , and firecrackers .
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    Tips: How To Talk With Someone With Hearing Loss

    Here are some tips you can use when talking with someone who has a hearing problem:

    • In a group, include people with hearing loss in the conversation.
    • Find a quiet place to talk to help reduce background noise, especially in restaurants and at social gatherings.
    • Stand in good lighting and use facial expressions or gestures to give clues.
    • Face the person and speak clearly. Maintain eye contact.
    • Speak a little more loudly than normal, but dont shout. Try to speak slowly, but naturally.
    • Speak at a reasonable speed.
    • Do not hide your mouth, eat, or chew gum while speaking.
    • Repeat yourself if necessary, using different words.
    • Try to make sure only one person talks at a time.
    • Be patient. Stay positive and relaxed.
    • Ask how you can help.

    Causes Of Mild Hearing Loss

    As you age, the tiny hairs and nerve cells in your ear deteriorate. This gradual damage causes mild hearing loss as you age. Exposure to loud noises, middle ear abnormalities, inner ear infections, ototoxic medications, and even heredity will also cause hearing loss.;

    It is important to note that you should immediately seek medical attention if you suddenly have trouble hearing in one or both ears. If your doctor diagnoses you with hearing loss, the digital hearing aid technology of today can turn back the clock and give you back a world of rich sound.

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    How Do Doctors Diagnose It

    Hearing loss can be difficult to diagnose in infants and babies because they haven’t yet developed communication skills. All babies are screened before they leave the hospital to see if they have hearing loss. Sometimes parents may begin to notice that the baby doesn’t respond to loud noises or to the sound of voices, or has a delay in speech.

    Certain symptoms in teens should prompt a trip to the doctor. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, you should let your parents or doctor know if:

    • You feel that people mumble or that their speech is not clear, or you hear only parts of conversations when people are talking.
    • You often ask people to repeat what they said.
    • Friends or family tell you that you don’t seem to hear very well.
    • You don’t laugh at jokes because you miss too much of the story.
    • You need to ask others about the details of a class or meeting you attended.
    • People say that you play music or your TV too loudly.
    • You can’t hear the doorbell or telephone.

    The doctor will do an ear exam and, if necessary, refer someone with these symptoms to an audiologist, a health professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing problems. The audiologist will do various hearing tests that can help detect where the problem might be.

    A person may also need to see an otolaryngologist , a doctor who specializes in ear, nose, and throat problems.

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    Take Precautions At Work

    Dr Hilary Jones Offers Advice for Dealing With Hearing Loss

    If you’re exposed to loud noises through your work, speak to;your;human resources department or occupational health manager.

    Your employer is obliged to make changes to reduce your exposure to;loud noise, for example, by:

    • switching to quieter equipment if possible
    • making sure you’re not exposed to loud noise for long periods
    • providing hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs

    Make sure you wear any hearing protection you’re given.

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