Is there anyone you know who seems to have hearing problems, even from time to time? It is important that anyone and everyone who has hearing problems, especially when it has gotten to a degree where it disrupts daily aspects of their lives, should seek medical help and start using a hearing aids.
If you know someone with hearing problems, this article should help you better understand the importance of hearing and problems associated with hearing loss, and how hearing aids can help with that.
Why is hearing so important?
Hearing is involved in every single aspect of our lives. It includes enjoying our favourite TV shows, listening to music, talking with our friends and loved ones – hearing is always and has always been an integral part of our daily lives, though we tend to not pay as much attention to it as it is for the most part a passive activity.
But hearing is not only just meant for social purposes. Ambient sounds such as waterfall sounds help with appreciation of our surroundings, or even those that indicate danger like car honks, are all good reasons as to why hearing is important.
The thing about most hearing loss is that it happens gradually, so the person might tend to dismiss it as a once-in-a-while thing and not seek medical attention. By the time it is obvious, their hearing would have already deteriorated significantly.
What are the different types of hearing loss?
There are 3 types of hearing loss.
- Sensorineural hearing loss,
- Conductive hearing loss, and
- Mixed hearing loss (both above)
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the auditory nerve (the nerve that connects the inside of your ear to your brain) is damaged and its function is impaired, so even if your ear picks up the sound, it does not get properly transmitted to your brain and recognised.
Conductive hearing loss happens when something is physically blocking the ear canal or outer ear, reducing the amount of sound waves that can be picked up. Common causes usually include a buildup of earwax, or ear infections.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
What happens if I continue to have bad hearing?
Even if it’s only a mild to moderate hearing loss, there are some very serious consequences to having bad hearing. Audiologists urge people to get it fixed as soon as possible because of these potential social and health setbacks.
- Social Isolation
Because the person can’t hear clearly what others might be saying consistently, in a way that they miss out critical information or has to keep asking people to repeat what they’re saying, it naturally leads to people not wanting to converse with them as much (some of us might be guilty of doing this to people we know!), and gradually the person talks to less people and becomes more prone to social isolation. This may also increase the likelihood of developing depression.
Believe it or not, hearing loss is one of the causative factor for dementia, meaning that hearing loss is directed correlated to having dementia. How this works is exactly what we have discussed just above, hearing loss leads to social isolation. Social isolation in the patient, particularly an elderly is much more devastating because they already have a much higher risk of dementia than younger patients. Social isolation naturally means that there is reduced social interaction, which reduces stimulation of the brain, increasing the risk of dementia.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but we should all be aware that hearing loss can have a significant impact on the person’s lives, and are often silent – people don’t know the problems are happening until it has manifested fully. At that point it might be too late for the patient to live their lives like they used to.
What should people with hearing loss do to seek help?
Often times, many people think of going to hospitals to seek help for their hearing loss. Another alternative is to visit private clinics, where trained audiologists provide hearing tests to diagnose the patient’s degree of hearing loss, then help them to choose the right hearing aid for them.
How do hearing aids work?
Hearing aids are the most straightforward way a patient with hearing loss can use to help them deal with their hearing problems. There are many different styles of hearing aids, but they are made fully customised to every patient’s ear shape, and the patient can also choose the colour they like to suit their preferences.
Hearing aids contain a microphone, which pick up surrounding sound and transmitted into a microphone which is put inside the person’s ear canal. Essentially, hearing aids help to amplify the sound volume so that its user can hear them. Better hearing aids are also capable of minimising or cancelling out background noise to give the wearer a higher quality hearing experience.
Why are there people who don’t use hearing aids?
Now that you’ve understood why it is so dangerous to leave hearing loss as it is, as well as how to seek help, why are there still people with hearing loss refusing to use hearing devices?
- They are too expensive
- They don’t think their level of diminished hearing ability warrants a hearing aid
- Using hearing aids acknowledges that they’re old and less competent – a common social stigma associated with hearing loss
- They don’t look nice
- They are troublesome to use
- They are uncomfortable
Above are some of the common explanations as to why patients with hearing loss shy away from hearing aids, even though hearing loss is associated with many social and health consequences.
In fact, hearing aids only helps the improve the patient’s quality of life. All it takes is a little bit of accustomisation to the device for couple of weeks, and the improvements in their hearing ability will quickly improve their daily interactions with their loved ones. It is important that the benefits of using hearing aids are properly communicated to people who aren’t as willing to use hearing aids, as well as the problems with it are rather insignificant once get used to them.
Cleaning one’s hearing aids should be done regularly in order to maximise the effectiveness of hearing aids and help the patient hear better. Read up on how hearing aids should be cleaned properly.
Is there someone you know whom you suspect has hearing loss?
If there is someone you know whom has hearing loss and it has affected their daily lives significantly, and you’re concerned about their well-being, talk to a trained audiologist today to better understand the options available for that person. It is highly encouraged to treat hearing loss problems as soon as possible because of the potential social and medical consequences. The Hearing Centre in Singapore has trained audiologist, they provide the best hearing aid in Singapore.
The Hearing Centre – Award-winning Hearing Aids provider in Singapore
Considering getting your hearing checked or looking for hearing aids in Singapore? The Hearing Centre is an award-winning hearing aids provider in Singapore and we have a team of trained audiologists ready to serve you and your needs for hearing. We have served more than 500 patients over the course of 16 years. We strive to provide the best services, diagnosis, and maintenance of hearing aids to you and your loved ones.