Sunday, April 21, 2024

How To Live With Hearing Loss

Don't Miss

How Do We Hear

Living with hearing loss

Hearing depends on a series of events that change sound waves in the air into electrical signals. Your auditory nerve then carries these signals to your brain through a complex series of steps.

  • Sound waves enter the outer ear and travel through a narrow passageway called the ear canal, which leads to the eardrum.
  • The eardrum vibrates from the incoming sound waves and sends these vibrations to three tiny bones in the middle ear. These bones are called the malleus, incus, and stapes.
  • The bones in the middle ear couple the sound vibrations from the air to fluid vibrations in the cochlea of the inner ear, which is shaped like a snail and filled with fluid. An elastic partition runs from the beginning to the end of the cochlea, splitting it into an upper and lower part. This partition is called the basilar membrane because it serves as the base, or ground floor, on which key hearing structures sit.
  • Once the vibrations cause the fluid inside the cochlea to ripple, a traveling wave forms along the basilar membrane. Hair cells-sensory cells sitting on top of the basilar membrane-ride the wave.
  • As the hair cells move up and down, microscopic hair-like projections that perch on top of the hair cells bump against an overlying structure and bend. Bending causes pore-like channels, which are at the tips of the stereocilia, to open up. When that happens, chemicals rush into the cells, creating an electrical signal.
  • Deafness Employment Statistics Uk

    At least 4.4 million people with hearing loss are of working age.

    The employment rate for those with hearing loss is 65%, compared to 79% of people with no long-term health issue or disability.

    On average, people with hearing loss are paid £2,000 less per year than the general population this amounts to £4 billion per year in lost income across the UK.

    Recent estimates suggest that the UK economy loses £25 billion a year in lost productivity and unemployment due to hearing loss.

    Research in 2014 on the experience of people with hearing loss and employment found that:

    • Almost three-quarters of respondents felt that their employment opportunities were limited because of their hearing loss.
    • 70% agreed that their hearing loss sometimes prevented them from fulfilling their potential at work.
    • Just over two-thirds agreed that they sometimes felt isolated at work because of their hearing loss.
    • Two-fifths had retired early due to the impact of their hearing loss and struggles with communication at work.

    Noise Puts Us At Tremendous Risk For Hearing Loss And Tinnitus

    • 26 million people in U.S. between ages 20-69 have a hearing loss.

    • 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels annually.

    • Nearly 50% of persons aged 12-35 years could be exposed to unsafe noise from personal listening devices, and 40% in this age group could be exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues.

    • Musicians are 400% more likely to have a hearing loss and 57% more likely to have tinnitus than the general public.

    Read Also: Ear Wax Candle Tutorial

    Tips On Speaking To A Person With Hearing Loss

    The following tips might be helpful next time you talk with a hearing impaired person:

    • Get the persons attention.
    • Face the person and stand close to them.
    • Have the light on your face and do not cover your mouth.
    • Speak more slowly than usual.
    • Raise your voice if you have to, but try not to shout.
    • Speak expressively and use face, hand and body movements.
    • Be ready to use a pen and paper.

    Communication tips for someone with hearing loss

    • Tell people about your hearing loss.
    • Ask people to speak clearly.
    • Encourage your communication partners to face you, speak up or speak more slowly.
    • Advise people to gain your attention first and face you when talking with you.
    • Ask questions about what you missed.
    • Suggest rephrasing the information.

    Be Yourself Dont Compromise Your Character To Appear Confident

    Seven Tips on How to Live with Hearing Loss

    This one is important. Dont follow what everyone else is doing just to make it seem like youre confident. Dont do things that your own ethics and morals scream out against for the sake of appearances. If its not going to build you up as a person and it doesnt take you in the direction you want to go without costing you some part of your heart and soul, dont do it!

    Dont put yourself into situations where youll be miserable just for the sake of appearing confident. Theres nothing that will break down your confidence faster than trying to be something youre not and dont want to be, and it takes quite a bit to come back from the kind of confidence knocks that this can give you.

    Read Also: How To Use Witch Hazel For Ear Infection

    Tip 4 Cochlear Implants Or Medical Treatment

    When a person faces a hearing loss problem for a long time, the hearing aid devices and assisting devices do not work for them. Regular audiology assistance can limit the risk of incurable hearing loss, but if it does not work, then a cochlear implant or other treatments should be suggested by expert audiologists. Try to consult your audiologist and treat your incurable hearing loss with a particular treatment after diagnosis.

    Rephrase What You Said If Needed

    If a specific word or phrase is not being heard correctly, rather than raise your voice or give up, try rewording the original statement. Being asked to repeat something multiple times is much less pleasant for the person doing the asking then the person being asked. This all comes back to making sure both parties are aware of the hearing loss in the first place.

    You May Like: Are You Hungry In Sign Language

    Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

    It can be really, really tempting to live small, to not take risks, and to limit yourself to what you know you can handle with your hearing.

    That way lies stagnation, marginalization, and a path to becoming a bitter old hag reciting poetry to cats in a ditch, in sign language.

    There are so many examples of how pushing the boundaries to help us grow. If you work out, in order to stimulate muscle growth, you need to push your limits. Just going through the same routine will keep you fit, sure, but if you really want to gain in strength, you must get close to the maximum you can lift, the fastest you can run, the longest you can endure before failure.

    Thats not to say you should go and try scale Everest to conquer your fear of heights and be more confident near the edge of your local cliffs, though! Start small, just beyond what you normally handle, and build up from there.

    Start small, just beyond what you normally handle, and build up from there.

    Greet someone who youd normally just walk past with your head down in the hopes that they dont notice you. Assert yourself by asking someone to repeat themselves if you didnt hear even if its the fifth time they said something. Explain, firmly, what they need to change for you to understand From there, work out how you can play to your strengths in that arena.

    When Do You Mention Your Hearing Loss At A Job Interview

    Living with hearing loss

    Job interviews are nerve-wracking experiences at the best of times, a hearing impairment is going to add an extra level of worry to that. So when would you disclose to a potential employer that you are hard of hearing? 121 Captions recently did an excellent article on this, which got me thinking about what I do myself and why.

    Read Also: How To Teach Yourself American Sign Language

    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,

    Give Yourself A Massage

    Professional massages are a fantastic way to reduce stress and cope with tinnitus, but they are expensive and not something you can do at the drop of a hat. Instead, you can practice trigger point massage on yourself with a lacrosse ball or foam roller. Here are a few helpful links to get you started:

    Also Check: Can You Make A Candle From Ear Wax

    How Can I Prevent Unilateral Hearing Loss Or Single

    Exposure to loud noises is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss. To lower your familys risk of noise-induced hearing loss:

    • Turn down the volume on electronic devices, earbuds and toys.
    • Wear sound-reducing earplugs or earmuffs when attending loud events or working with power tools or in noisy environments.

    Bottom Line: Don’t Let Your Relationships Suffer Because Of Hearing Loss

    The Impact of Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss

    Interventions such as hearing aids can not only improve quality of life, but can improve relationship satisfaction, communication and social functioning. From having intimate conversations with their partners to watching TV together or socializing, people who get hearing aids find that they are once again able to enjoy life. And more importantly, they are able to enjoy life once again as a part of a couple.

    So think about the relationships that matter in your life. Has communication with those you love suffered? If you are experiencing communication issues due to hearing loss, dont wait to seek treatment. Make an appointment with a hearing care professional today.

    Recommended Reading: Is Sign Language The Same In Every Language

    Living With Severe Hearing Loss

    Samuel R. Atcherson, PhD, was a toddler when his babysitter noticed he didn’t respond to sound the way other kids do. He was diagnosed with mild hearing loss that progressed to severe hearing loss by the time he was in college.

    “Growing up, I rarely used the phone, because I could not understand,” Atcherson recalls. “This affected my social life considerably, and I certainly had moments of feeling isolated.”

    Atcherson used hearing aids, but still had trouble following conversations. “I continued to struggle, especially in the classroom,” he tells WebMD. So he decided to try a cochlear implant. After an adjustment phase, he noticed real improvements in his hearing skills. Atcherson went on to earn a PhD in audiology.

    Like Atcherson, many people struggle with hearing in the classroom, at the movies, and in other everyday situations. Fortunately, there are a growing number of technologies and strategies that can help.

    Say The Persons Name Before Beginning A Conversation

    Getting someones attention before speaking to them is always important, but even more so for those of us with hearing loss. Engage them in the conversation by using their first name. Never assume someone can hear what you told them, or that they are paying attention before looking at you. Once youve gotten their attention, make sure to maintain face-to-face conversation if possible.

    Also Check: What Is Poop In Sign Language

    Joy Victory Managing Editor Healthy Hearing

    Joy Victory has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best communicate evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results to the public. She strives to make health content accurate, accessible and engaging to the public.Read more about Joy.

    Dont Do All The Talking

    Living with Hearing Loss | Being hearing impaired | Hearing Impairment

    Hearing loss can be draining. A person with hearing loss has to work harder to understand what youre saying and you would be surprised at the mental exertion involved. If a conversation is lasting a long time, take a break. If you find that youve been rambling on for a while, stop and let the other person talk for a bit.

    Don’t Miss: How To Treat An Infected New Ear Piercing

    Protect Your Hearing During Loud Events And Activities

    To protect your hearing during loud activities and events :

    • move away from sources of loud noises
    • try to take a break from the noise every 15 minutes
    • give your hearing about 18 hours to recover after exposure to lots of loud noise
    • consider wearing earplugs you can buy re-usable musicians’ earplugs that reduce the volume of music but do not muffle it

    Ways That Hearing Loss Can Affect Our Free Time

    Even the way we relax can be adversely affected by hearing loss, causing depression and frustration if the issues arent dealt with.

    If you hunt, youll appreciate the value of keen hearing when detecting prey and remaining undetected. Musicians obviously know how sensitive ears help their ability to determine pitch. And in sports, communication between players is vital. Imagine being in the offensive line and having no idea what your Quarterback is saying.

    But hearing loss problems apply everywhere. In the cinema, it can seem like youre sliding gradually back into the Silent Age. Socializing with friends in-person or by phone can become more difficult, and TV viewing can become infuriating as shows that were once absorbing now become a mess of noises that wont come together.

    Read Also: Are You Hungry In Sign Language

    Have Your Hearing Checked Out To Prevent Hearing Loss Frustration

    As you can see, hearing loss can have huge negative impacts on everyday life. From meal times to the office, from construction sites to cinemas, when your hearing starts to fade, everything becomes slightly harder, less enjoyable, and more confusing.

    But you can stop this process by seeking the right assistance. So, if you detect the signs of encroaching hearing loss, arrange a consultation with an expert, who can recommend the right treatment and hearing aid before the problems become severe.

    Your Brain Helps You To Hear By Filling In The Gaps Without You Realising It

    How To Live With Hearing Loss

    You are propping up the bar of your local on a Friday night, the place is packed and the DJ is blasting the tunes out, it’s noisy as hell. Even so, you find it pretty easy to have a conversation with your friends. Your ears are getting assualted from all angles but your brain does a remarkably good job of filtering all that out and focusing on your friends’ voices.

    You May Like: Which Composer Experienced Hearing Loss During His Lifetime

    Hearing Loss: A Common Problem For Older Adults

    On this page:

    Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, aging, disease, and heredity. People with hearing loss may find it hard to have conversations with friends and family. They may also have trouble understanding a doctors advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells and alarms.

    Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 has difficulty hearing. But, some people may not want to admit they have trouble hearing.

    Older people who cant hear well may become depressed, or they may withdraw from others because they feel frustrated or embarrassed about not understanding what is being said. Sometimes, older people are mistakenly thought to be confused, unresponsive, or uncooperative because they dont hear well.

    Hearing problems that are ignored or untreated can get worse. If you have a hearing problem, see your doctor. Hearing aids, special training, certain medicines, and surgery are some of the treatments that can help.

    People With Hearing Loss Vulnerable To Dementia

    We have spoken before on Hearing Aid Know about the connection between hearing loss and dementia, initially with a warning about what was true and what wasn’t in the article “Untreated Hearing Loss Causes Dementia!!!!!!!”. We followed up that article with an update on the changing attitude of the medical profession in the article “Untreated Hearing Loss & The Dementia Connection”. In essence, we now believe that untreated hearing loss is a risk factor for the development of dementia. In this article, Cassie Lomax discusses hearing loss, dementia and why sometimes they can be confused, among other topics.

    You May Like: Cane Corso Ear Cropping Aftercare

    Get Your Hearing Tested

    Get a hearing test as soon as possible if you’re worried you might be losing your hearing. The earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier something can be done about it.

    You might also want to consider having regular hearing checks if you’re at a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss, for example, if you’re a musician or work in noisy environments.

    Page last reviewed: 18 January 2021 Next review due: 18 January 2024

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

    5 Tips for Living with Hearing Loss

    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.

    Don’t Miss: Say Sorry In Sign Language

    More articles

    Popular Articles