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The Importance of Hearing!
Experiencing the sounds of life is
something we all take for granted. For most of us, it is only when hearing
slowly diminishes that we realize how important good hearing is in our lives.
The everyday sounds of birds singing, the breeze blowing, and children playing
are sounds that we should be able to appreciate all our lives. But many people
deprive themselves of this gift by not taking that first step for help. The gift
of hearing allows us to do much more than just enjoy the qualities of sounds we
hear each day. Without it, everyday life situations may become a strain. A
hearing loss may create difficulties at work, in social situations or even with
family members. But most of all, a hearing loss may cause you to lose confidence
in yourself. If you have a hearing problem, or you suspect someone you love has
a hearing problem, be informed about hearing aids and hearing instrument
What is Hearing Impairment?
Hearing impairment can
occur at any age, hearing loss develops slowly and painlessly. As a result, the
person is often unaware of the loss of hearing until others start to notice.
There are three parts to the human ear: the outer, middle and inner ear. As a
sound occurs, the sound wave vibrations are conducted through the outer and
middle ear to the inner ear. In the inner ear, these vibrations are converted to
nerve impulses which are then transmitted to the brain. A conductive hearing
loss results from obstruction or disease of the outer or middle ear. This type
of hearing loss is often temporary and can usually be treated medically. Damage
to the inner ear or hearing nerve results in sensorineural hearing loss. This
type of hearing loss is almost always permanent and normally caused by high
fever, disease, excessive noise exposure, heredity or the normal aging process.
Sensorineural hearing loss, usually referred to as “nerve deafness,” is often
treatable with the use of hearing instruments.
- Conductive hearing loss:
Sound is not conducted to the inner ear from the outer or middle ear. This
type of hearing loss is often temporary and can usually be treated
Otosclerosis: This is a type of conductive hearing loss. The tiny bones of
the middle ear do not properly transmit sound from the eardrum to the inner
- Sensorineural hearing loss:
The inner ear does not transmit sound properly to the brain. The tiny
hair cells of the inner ear have been damaged due to age, noise or
medication. They can no longer pick up sounds. This loss is permanent
because the hair cells do not grow back.
- Presbycusis: The
ability to hear high frequency sound deteriorates. It is the most common
kind of sensorineural hearing loss and comes with aging.
- Mixed hearing loss: A combination of conductive loss and sensorineural loss.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss:
- Straining to hear conversations.
- A feeling that you can hear, but cannot understand.
- Thinking people are mumbling.
- Asking people to repeat themselves, even in a quiet
- Confusing people’s words.
- Finding it necessary to watch people’s faces in order to understand what
they are saying.
- Difficulty hearing softer sounds such as birds singing
and water running.
- Increasing the volume of your radio or television to the
point that it irritates others.
- Avoiding certain activities because it is too difficult
- Chronic ear infections, “ringing” in the ears, or
- Family history of diabetes, heart disease, thyroid
problems, poor circulation or hearing loss.