Hearing loss is a disability that affects over 36 million American adults; 30 percent of those afflicted are 65-74 years old and 47 percent are 75 or older.
The Hearing Loss Association of America cites three types of hearing loss:
1. Conductive hearing loss is due to ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear problems. Most causes of conductive hearing loss can be treated with surgery or hearing aids, particularly bone conductive hearing aids.
2. Censorial hearing loss (nerve-related hearing loss) is due to inner ear problems. Depending upon the cause, treatments include medications or, in some cases, surgery.
3. Mixed hearing loss is when there is damage in the outer or middle ear as well as the inner ear or auditory nerve. The conductive hearing loss is usually treated first, then the censorial.
Hearing loss can have a profound impact on our work and social interactions. People with this disability may experience depression and as a result, anger at others or withdrawal from occasions where their hearing loss will be noticeable. Unfortunately, there is no cure to hearing loss, although, there are effective ways to manage it and be proactive. Learn about your disability and seek assistance to help cope.
- Hearing aids –Purchase your hearing aids from an auditory or medical professional who specializes in hearing, not someone who specializes in selling hearing aids. Hearing Denial suggests booking with ones that are able to offer evaluations and custom hearing aid fittings all within one supplier.
- Cochlear implants – You will need an evaluation by an audiologist and an implant-affiliated physician to determine if you are eligible for cochlear implants.
- Hearing Assistive Technology is available at most performing arts venues, including most movie theaters. Amplified and captioned phone systems, smoke detectors and doorbells are also available.
Responding to Others
Communication is still a two-way. There are ways you can help maintain your end of communication with others. Some suggestions include:
- Do your best to focus and concentrate.
- Admit it when you don’t understand.
- Watch for visual clues and ask for written clues if necessary.
- Maintain your sense of humor and positive attitude.