Many people are aware that their hearing has deteriorated but are reluctant to seek help. Perhaps they don't want to acknowledge the problem, are embarrassed by what they see as a weakness, or believe that they can "get by" without using a hearing aid. And, unfortunately, too many wait for years, even decades, to address the effects of hearing loss before getting treatment.
But time and again, research demonstrates the considerable effects of untreated hearing loss on speech development, social development, psychological and emotional development & development of congnitive skills. Each can have far-reaching implications that go well beyond hearing alone. In fact, those who have difficulty hearing can experience such distorted and incomplete communication that it seriously impacts their professional and personal lives, at times leading to isolation and withdrawal.
Studies have linked untreated hearing loss effects to:
- irritability, negativism and anger
- fatigue, tension, stress and depression
- avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
- social rejection and loneliness
- reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
- impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
- reduced job performance and earning power
- diminished psychological and overall health
Hearing loss is not just an ailment of old age. It can strike at any time and any age, even childhood. For the young, even a mild or moderate hearing loss could bring difficulty in learning, developing speech and building the important interpersonal skills necessary to foster self-esteem and succeed in school and life.
If you do have hearing loss, then it helps to know that you're not alone. In fact, you are one of about 500 million people worldwide. In most countries, this means more than 1 in 6 people have some degree of hearing impairment. But it's reassuring to know that a properly fitted hearing instrument can improve communication in at least 90% of people with hearing impairment. This means you can be quite confident that there is a solution.
At the SPEECH AND HEARING CENTRE, our mission is to help educate the public about hearing loss and promote the importance of prevention and treatment. If you think you or a loved one suffers from hearing loss, don't delay another day. Visit us and take the first step towards a world of better hearing.
How can I select a hearing aid?
To fit a hearing aid one requires to test his / her hearing ability. Hearing ability can be assessed with an audiometer. An audiogram gives you the degree and type of hearing loss. The most important part is, always get an audiogram from a certified audiologist. After obtaining an audiogram, speech audiometry is done in order to find out speech discrimination (understanding capacity). Following this, hearing aids are fitted based on the needs of an individual.
Need refers to the environment in which an individual wants to hear better. For example:
- Hearing in noise.
- Hearing over phone.
- Hearing in groups / public meetings.
- Difficulty in understanding speech.
- Listening to music / plays.
- Hearing clear and sharp sounds.
Do I need to wear hearing aids in both ears?
Hearing aid should be chosen to help restore binaural hearing. They should, in fact be fitted in pairs, just like eye glasses. (David Pascoe; 1985)
If an individual has hearing loss in both ears, then he should be fitted with two instruments.
Benefits of binaural amplification:
- Better undrestanding of speech.
- Better understanding in a group and noisy situations.
- Better ability to tell the direction of sound.
- Better sound quality.
- Smoother tone quality.
- Better sound identification.
- Keep both ears active, resulting in slower rate of hearing deterioration.
- Feeling of balanced hearing.
- Greater tolerance / comfort in loud noises.
- Consumer preference and customer satisfaction.
When do I wear a hearing aid?
- Difficulty in communicating with new people.
- Difficulty in hearing whispered speech.
- Difficulty in hearing in groups / public speeches.
- Difficulty in hearing in noise.
- Difficulty hearing T.V. / radio.
- Difficulty in hearing in parties and restaurants.
- Difficulty in understanding telephone conversation.