Information About Hearing Loss

Learning about what causes hearing loss is the first step in both prevention and treatment. Mass Audiology offers hearing screenings to help you stay on the right path with your hearing ability. Our experienced hearing care professionals will sit with you to figure out the cause of your hearing loss and to also develop the best treatment plan for your specific hearing loss.

Hearing loss can lead to people often feeling alone, frustrated, and excluded in most social settings. It is our job to prevent you from ever feeling this way through our hearing loss treatment options. Below are a few hearing loss statistics to help keep you informed.

Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Depression, Anxiety, Social Isolation in Seniors WASHINGTON, D.C.

Untreated hearing loss has serious emotional and social consequences for older persons, according to a study released today by The National Council on the Aging (NCOA). 5/99
“This study debunks the myth that hearing loss in older persons is a harmless condition,” said James Firman, Ed.D., president and CEO of The National Council on the Aging. The survey of 2,300 hearing impaired adults age 50 and older found that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared to those who wear hearing instruments. The study was conducted by Seniors Research Group, an alliance between NCOA and Market Strategies Inc.

ear-imageThe survey found that significantly more of the seniors with untreated hearing loss (those who do not wear hearing devices) reported feelings of sadness or depression that lasted two or more weeks during the previous year. Among respondents with more severe hearing loss, 22 percent of hearing-aid users reported these sad feelings, compared to 30 percent of non-users. Non-users were also more likely to agree with the statement that “people get angry with me usually for no reason” (14 percent of users vs. 23 percent of non-users). Among those with more severe hearing loss, the difference was even greater — 14 percent for users vs. 36 percent for non-users.

Also, people who don’t use hearing instruments were considerably less likely to participate in social activities (20 percent less among those with milder loss, and 24 percent less likely among those with more severe loss).
Firman said the survey was “groundbreaking” not only in the large size of the sample but also in the inclusion 2,090 close family members or friends of the hearing-impaired respondents who were asked a parallel set of questions.


Benefits of Treatment

Hearing aid users reported benefits in many areas of their lives, ranging from their relationships at home and sense of independence to their social life and their sex life. The families of hearing aid users noticed the improvements, but were even more likely than the users to report the improvements in every dimension the survey measured.

Symptoms

You might have hearing loss if you . . .

Socially:

  • Require frequent repetition.
  • Have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people.
  • Think that other people sound muffled or like they’re mumbling.
  • Have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms.
  • Have trouble hearing children and women.
  • Have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume.
  • Answer or respond inappropriately in conversations.
  • Have ringing in your ears.
  • Read lips or more intently watch people’s faces when they speak with you

Emotionally:

  • Feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying.
  • Feel annoyed at other people because you can’t hear or understand them.
  • Feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying.
  • Feel nervous about trying to hear and understand.
  • Withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing.

Medically:

  • Have a family history of hearing loss.
  • Take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs).
  • Have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems.
  • Have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise.

- Source: Better Hearing Institute


SOLUTIONS – PROOF THAT HEARING INSTRUMENTS REALLY WORK

People with hearing loss delay a decision to get hearing help because they are unaware of the fact that receiving early treatment for hearing loss has the potential to literally transform their lives. Research by the National Council on the Aging on more than 2,000 people with hearing loss as well as their significant others demonstrated that hearing instruments clearly are associated with impressive improvements in the social, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of people with hearing loss in all hearing loss categories from mild to severe. Specifically, hearing device usage is positively related to the following quality of life issues.

Hearing loss treatment was shown to improve:

  • Earning power
  • Communication in relationships
  • Intimacy and warmth in family relationships
  • Ease in communication
  • Emotional stability
  • Sense of control over life events
  • Perception of mental functioning
  • Physical health
  • Group social participation

And just as importantly hearing loss treatment was shown to reduce:

  • Discrimination toward the person with the hearing loss
  • Hearing loss compensation behaviors (i.e. pretending you hear)
  • Anger and frustration in relationships
  • Depression and depressive symptoms
  • Feelings of paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Social phobias
  • Physical health
  • Self-criticism

If you are one of those people with a mild, moderate or severe hearing loss, who is sitting on the fence, consider all the benefits of hearing instruments described above. Hearing instruments hold such great potential to positively change so many lives.

- Source: Better Hearing Institute

To learn more about the causes and symptoms of hearing loss Contact Mass Audiology and find out more about our hearing aid instruments. We are the leading hearing aid dispenser with locations throughout Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Do not spend another moment struggling to be a part of the world around you, let Mass Audiology bring you back into the world of better hearing!

Last Updated: Dec 28, 2012