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Hearing loss is a condition, which occurs when a person fails to perceive sound accurately. In most cases, people with hearing impairment becomes prone to accidental injuries compared to those with healthy hearing. According to a certain study carried in the US, it was found that people with hearing loss were twice more likely to experience accidental injuries than people with better hearing.
Hearing loss is categorized into three types, namely; sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss. Aging and exposure to noise hazardous are the major causes of hearing loss. As people grow older, they lose some degree of hearing, and by the time they reach the age of 65 and above, one in three people suffers some kind of hearing loss.
Prevalence of Hearing Impairment
Hearing loss is the third most common condition in the world after arthritis and coronary diseases. It is also among the top leading chronic health problem in the US. According to information released by the Hearing Loss Association of America, about 48 million people in America reports some sort of hearing loss. Below is a quick grasp of the facts about hearing loss.
- Age is the highest predictor of hearing impairment among adults between the age of 20 to 69.
- Those between 60 to 69 years of age are the most group at risk of hearing loss.
- Approximately 25 percent of Americans have experienced tinnitus lasting for five minutes in the past twelve months.
- Adults males aged 20 to 69 are twice more likely to experience hearing loss than their counterpart women of the same bracket.
- As women age, they develop a problem of hearing sounds from lower frequencies than men do.
- In every 1000 children born, two or three in them are diagnosed with a detectable hearing loss in either one or both ears.
- Ninety percent of deaf children are born to parents with normal hearing.
- Fifteen percent of school-going children aged between 6 to 19 have some degree of hearing impairment.
Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss
The following are the common symptoms of hearing loss, which should raise a red flag in case you or your member experience them.
- Hearing voices sounds as muffled or unclear
- Being unable to follow a conversation in a noisy background
- Watching people’s lips instead of focusing on maintaining eye contact
- Feeling your ears as if they are clogged.
- Always having to increase the volume of music or TV to understand better what is being said.
- Avoidance of some social settings.
Studies on Injuries Related to Hearing Loss
Hearing impairment can compromise certain body functions. A 2016 study on the journal titled the American Geriatric Society found that hearing loss contributed to poorer body functioning, especially among older men and women. It was further interpreted that there is a close connection between hearing and balance, and when hearing loss occurs, stability can be affected, too, in a way that can increase the risk of falling.
On another study aimed to determine the contribution of hearing loss to injuries showed that individuals with mild hearing loss were 60 percent more likely to face accidental injuries, those with moderate hearing loss reported 70 percent chances of experiencing accidents, and those who had severe or chronic hearing loss had 90 percent more chances of experiencing accidental injuries than those people with normal healthy hearing.
The relationship between hearing loss and the reported cases of accidents was noteworthy. It makes sense to say that if you cannot hear properly, you lose that crucial signal sign that would alarm you in case of a danger or a threat.
Treating Hearing Loss with Hearing Aids
There is no cure for hearing loss, but the condition can be managed to restore hearing through several treatment interventions. The type of hearing depends on the causative organ and the severity of the condition. Hearing aids are a common intervention that is widely preferred for treating hearing loss.
Hearing aids are used in the case the damage of the inner ear results in your hearing loss. There are several types of hearing aids available in the market. Some of them include hearing aids placed behind the ear, those set in the ear, and those inserted in the canal of the ear. Your Audiologist will discuss with you the best hearing aid for your condition.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Untreated hearing loss may lead to chronic hearing loss. It is essential to seek early medical checkups to avoid the dangers that are brought by hearing loss.
Treating hearing loss comes with many benefits, among them being financial, social, emotional, and cognitive benefits. The excellent hearing also helps us to stay connected and aware of our surroundings.