Types of hearing loss
There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Conductive hearing loss (CHL) is signified by the inability of sound to pass through the outer or middle ear. It could be a simple buildup of earwax, punctured eardrum, or a variety of other causes. CHL is often treatable. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is almost always permanent. In addition occurring naturally with age, it can be caused by physical damage. A blow to the head, exposure to loud noises, ototoxic medications, and many congenital health conditions can be responsible for SNHL. Hearing instruments are usually recommended. Sometimes, CHL and SNHL happen concurrently. In this case, the result is a Mixed hearing loss.
A startling statistic
In the USA, around 50 million people suffer from some degree of hearing loss. That is the same as the entire population of Texas, all of its surrounding states, and nearly everyone in New York. Even more startling is the fact that the vast majority of people who would benefit from a hearing aid have never worn one.
Social, economic, and occupational impact
Most people have had a loved one with an obvious need for hearing aids but never sought treatment. Effectively communicating with these people can be a real challenge. We have to raise our voice when speaking to them, repeat ourselves more than once, and speak slowly. Few people consider what it’s like for the other person, though. In the workplace, they often have serious trouble communicating with the boss or clients. If it affects job performance, this person is likely to make less money than their peers. On a personal level, people with hearing loss commonly “cope” by avoiding social situations. Restaurants and crowded events slowly become less desirable. The humanistic need for socialization remains unchanged, though, meaning depression and feelings of isolation can become real problems.
That’s why we are passionate about what we do. Every day, we have the privilege of helping people restore their hearing. Those who struggle at work suddenly start leading the pack again. Grandparents can hold full conversations with their grandchildren. Even marital relations improve, as couples don’t have to argue about matters as simple as TV volume. Sure, we sell hearing aids, but that’s not what gets us out of bed in the morning. We thrive on our ability to reconnect people and help maximize quality of life.
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about hearing loss, you may want to know more about: