“I am just as deaf as I am blind. The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus– the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of man. “
“Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people.”
According to the most recent MarkeTrak study, there are over 33 million people with hearing impairment in the United States alone. Of those, less than 25% use any form of hearing enhancement.
Hearing is essential for our overall health. Hearing loss has been attributed to feelings of isolation, depression, fatigue, stress, social rejection, low self esteem, anger, tension, stress, irritability, withdrawal from social situations, reduced alertness, impaired memory and reduced quality of life.
Due to all the reasons stated, it has also been associated with overlooked promotions or advancement, lower earning power and reduced job performance in the work place.
What is a Hearing Loss?
There are 3 main types of hearing losses: conductive, sensorineural and mixed hearing loss.
A conductive hearing loss is primarily due to a blockage of some type present in the outer or middle ear which produces a reduced sense of loudness. Often times, these are treatable issues such as impacted cerumen (ear wax), fluid behind the ear drum or problems with the bones in the middle ear. An Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat physician) visit is recommended.
Sensorineural hearing loss is due to damage to the hair cells or nerve in the ear. Often times, these are permanent, irreversible hearing losses. Unlike a conductive hearing loss, a sensorineural hearing loss may also produce a distorted signal into the brain. The best treatment for this type of hearing loss is amplification through hearing devices.
A mixed hearing loss is hearing loss with components of both a conductive and sensorineural loss present.
Do I Have a Hearing Loss?
- Do people seem to mumble or speak in a softer voice than they used to?
- Do you feel tired or irritable after a long conversation?
- Do you sometimes miss key words in a sentence, or frequently need to ask people to repeat themselves?
- When you are in a group or in a crowded restaurant, is it difficult for you to follow the conversation?
- When you are together with other people, does background noise bother you?
- Do you often need to turn up the volume on your TV or radio?
- Do you find it difficult to hear the doorbell or the telephone ring?
- Is carrying on a telephone conversation difficult?
- Do you find it difficult to pinpoint where an object is (e.g. an alarm clock or a telephone) from the noise it makes?
- Has someone close to you mentioned that you may have a problem with your hearing?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be experiencing some hearing loss. We encourage you to schedule a hearing evaluation today by calling 813.406.4400 or book an appointment online.
Find out about the latest treatment options here: Hearing Instruments