The Causes of Hearing Loss
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 22 million workers are exposed to unhealthy levels of noise, and around 10 million are exposed to solvents that can cause hearing damage in the US. Among these workers, 19% suffer from hearing impairments. With around 40 million people having hearing damage, 53% have reported that they’re not exposed to loud noises at work, but researchers believe that this may be due to loud noises at home or in their communities. Apart from occupational and non-occupational noise, hearing loss can also be caused by advanced age, trauma, illnesses, and infections.
The Challenge of Living With People With Hearing Loss
Living with those who have hearing loss, regardless of the cause of the condition, can make communication and daily life a little bit more challenging. Due to degraded hearing, even normal conversation may prove to be difficult. Accidents and other household issues might even occur due to instructions and warnings not being heard. Although those with hearing loss or impairment can wear hearing aids provided by your nearbyENT in Colorado to make it easier, some people refuse to do so, and the reasons are oftentimes emotional and personal, as it somehow alienates them, or make them feel old or different. As such, we’ll be taking a look at tips on how to live with people who have hearing loss.
It’s always important to extend your patience a bit further when living with someone with hearing loss. Some people may find it annoying having to repeat themselves or find it straining to constantly increase their speaking volume, but you need to understand the person’s condition and be as patient as you can. Don’t show your frustration when they miss out on hearing something important, as they themselves are already having a hard time dealing and living with the condition.
You may need to make changes on how you normally communicate when you’re speaking to someone with hearing loss. You should always start by calling out the person’s name and ensure that you’ve caught they’re attention before you start talking so that they can focus on what you’re saying. As much as possible, communicate in close proximity and maintain eye contact, don’t shout out instructions or talk by yelling from different rooms — there’d be a lower risk of mishearing or misunderstanding, and you wouldn’t have to strain your throat b shouting.
There are Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) available to improve communication and overall quality of life of those with hearing loss. However, you can also use every-day technology and tools such as your phone. You can agree with your hearing-impaired loved one to have their phones handy all the time for both communication purposes and in case of emergencies, and then set their phones on vibrate. Instant messaging can be very beneficial especially when you’re busy in one part of the home but wish to immediately communicate with your hearing-impaired loved one.
Living with a family member or friend with hearing loss can be a little bit challenging at times, but with these tips, you’ll be able to develop habits and routines to make communication easier. Lastly, it’s recommended that you get checked as well. As mentioned earlier, hearing loss can be a result of advanced age and occupational and non-occupational noise, but it can also be due to an illness and can sometimes be hereditary as well. In fact, around 35-55% of age-related hearing loss is due to genetics, so even if you’re not living in or working in an area with unhealthy levels of noise, it’s best to be proactive and have your hearing checked with your nearby ENT in Colorado.