It’s not hard to imagine the impact of hearing loss on daily life, but to really get it, we must first understand that not all hearing loss is the same.
There are three main types of hearing loss and each type manifests differently:
- Conductive hearing loss – Hearing loss due to problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear. With Conductive hearing loss, the words may sound the same, but at a lower volume.
- Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) – Hearing loss due to problems of the inner ear. With SNHL, noise may be distorted and specific sounds become difficult to hear.
- Mixed hearing loss – A combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss which may indicate damage to multiple parts of the ear. With mixed hearing loss, distortion and volume may both be an issue.
Hear-it.org lists several sound files that can help illustrate what it’s like to live with hearing issues. Of course, listening to sound files is a weak comparison to dealing with true hearing loss, but it can help raise awareness and understanding.
Our hearing plays a key role in all that we do. Work, relationships and our overall well-being are hampered by hearing degradation. If we look at a few moments of daily life, we can see the enormous impact of sound.
The Morning Alarm – We may resent it on a wintry morning or when we’re in the middle of a lovely dream, but it is how most of us begin.
Breakfast – The toaster popping, eggs cooking, and the restorative sound of hot coffee brewing and dripping into a mug.
The Commute – The noises here are not always pleasant, but they are important. Car horns, ambulances, and traffic warnings keep us safe and alert.
Work – Meetings, phone calls – including the often hard-to-decipher and generally reviled conference call, webinars, and giving or receiving instructions are intrinsic parts of a work day.
Leisure Time – Whether it’s time at the gym, time with your favorite binge-worthy show or anything in between, it is your time to engage and enjoy on your terms.
Relationships – Connecting with family or friends can be a little bit of magic for the soul. Sitting with someone who has a piece of your heart as you exchange details about the trials and triumphs of a hectic day is soothing.
Music – Sound for the sake of sound. Open to interpretation, opens our emotions and transports us in time and place. We don’t just listen to it, we feel it.
Hearing enriches and helps protect us. Sounds are a beautiful, wonderful part of our daily lives and we should do all we can to protect and preserve our hearing healthcare. Hearing loss is one of the most common health care concerns, but only 25% of people affected seek solutions. Hearing aids are expensive, but there are other factors at play here. We minimize the issue and convince ourselves that we can manage around it instead of managing it directly. Take control of your hearing life-plan by scheduling an appointment for a hearing evaluation today.