A Day in Life of a Person with Hearing Difficulties
In our daily life, we heavily depend upon our five major senses. If one of them is hampered in any way, our quality of life decreases significantly. Hearing is one of those five senses. It enables us to listen to sounds. This helps us heavily in participating in a conversation and getting perspective. But many people around the world are suffering from mild to severe hearing loss. This article is going to address their situation in the view to give others a perspective of their situation.
According to WHO, 900 million people will suffer from hearing difficulties within 2050. Most of them will be around 12-35 years old. Unaddressed hearing loss annually costs around 750 billion US$ globally. Earlier actions to address, identify and prevention of hearing loss can be largely cost-effective. It helps the individuals before acquiring severe damage. Around 60% of childhood hearing loss can be nipped in the bud with the help of hearing aid and cochlear implants. But a matter of regret is that only 17% of the hearing-impaired patients are currently using a hearing aid. They generally are a victim of the following problems.
- Primarily, it impacts the spoken conversation. Hearing loss can make people feel isolated and promotes frustration.
- This makes the person fall into the pit of depression and this induces other mental health problems.
- In developing countries, children with hearing problems rarely receive the additional care that they require. They face severe difficulties in the classroom to understand their lesson. And their mental growth hampers as they cannot effectively communicate with other kids.
- Adults with hearing loss often face unemployment problems. And those who are employed ranks way lower than those who have perfect hearing.
- American research institute of cognitive performance has found a direct link between loss of mental health with hearing loss in their primary research. Learning, thinking, reasoning, problem-solving abilities are greatly impacted by hearing loss.
Signs of Hearing Loss
One may struggle to identify that they are facing problems in hearing. And it may be pretty difficult to pinpoint it within a child. Here are a few signs that will help you to recognize if you or someone around you is facing hearing loss.
- Cloaking of sounds and speech
- Struggle to hear sound against background noise or in a crowd
- Difficulty in understanding consonants
- Asking others to speak more clearly, loudly, or slowly over and over
- Frequent need to turning the volume up for television or radio
- Ending conversations suddenly
- Keeping away from the social situation
Also, a toddler or pre-teens may show the following signs:
- Not responding to your voice
- No reaction to loud noise
- Making simple sounds that gradually decrease.
- Pulling or rubbing an ear
- Constantly throwing a tantrum for no definite reasons.
- Paying less or no attention
- Lack of energy
- Facing difficulties to understand the direction
- Often asking to talk louder or raise the volume of the tv
- Develop a fever or ear pain or both
Hearing aids are simple devices that amplify sounds and help a person with hearing difficulty. It can be very helpful for them. With the help of this device, a person can carry on with their usual life with fewer difficulties. The choice of the device can vary from person to person according to the severity of the problem and lifestyle.
Types of Hearing Aids
Four types of hearing aids are available in the present day. They are,
- Behind the ear aid (BTE)
- Receiver in the canal aid (RIC)
- In the ear/canal aid (ITE/ITC)
- Completely in the canal/Invisible in the canal aid (CIC/IIC)
For young children, there is another type of hearing aid available. It is called a pediatric hearing aid.
Pediatric Hearing Aids
The hearing aids that are made for adults may not be suitable for children. They require a more sophisticated version of the technology. Therefore, the pediatric version of hearing aid was invented. It is almost like the adult version with a few more perks added.
- They are more durable as the children are more active and get easily agitated.
- These are almost always compatible with the FM systems and other assistive devices.
- The battery cases of these devices are tamper-resistant.
- It may contain special led light to indicate off & on.
Most of these devices are free of any allergens or harmful chemicals. They come in different vibrant colors. By the degree of hearing difficulties, it varies in shape and style too.
Controlling, Choosing, and Adjusting Hearing Aids
As your environment changes, the setting of your hearing aid may need to be adjusted. Some hearing aids provide hand-held controls or smartphone app controlling options. There's also a type that can adapt according to the environment.
You can have a variety of options to choose your hearing aid. But one should always consult their audiologist first about choosing their preferred hearing aid. If you consult NHS staff, they may lend you a device that is almost always behind the ear hearing aid. But a private audiologist can recommend a larger choice of hearing aid.
It may take up to three months to get used to a hearing aid. But it can vary according to the severity of hearing loss, lifestyle, and the frequency of needing to use a hearing aid. A new user can get overwhelmed by new noises. But the sooner the brain gets used to it, the sooner the discomfort disappears. In severe cases, one can always consult their audiologists and fine-tune it.
Hearing aids can cost 1000$ - 6000$, varying on the quality, To get a great user experience, one should consider investing in high quality, good brand’s hearing aid.
Losing your hearing is a very scary feeling. It snatches your mental sanity and throws you into depression. One should take the necessary steps in the earliest possible minute when the hearing problem arises. Most of all, a hearing aid can make your life much easier. So rather than waiting for the inevitable hearing loss, take action now. Live your best life with the help of the best help available to you.
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