Do you find yourself asking others to repeat themselves? Does a spouse or other family member frequently ask you to turn down the TV? Hearing loss can affect anyone, says Mark Kind of Miracle-Ear. Kind, who manages hearing centers in Hays, Salina, Great Bend, Manhattan and McPherson, Kansas, explains that with early detection and prompt intervention, individuals with hearing loss can reconnect with the sounds and voices they’ve been missing and enjoy an enhanced quality of life.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
In some people, hearing loss is a natural result of the aging process. But in others, health and environmental factors cause or contribute to hearing loss. In general, there are two types of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss, caused by a physical abnormality or obstruction, usually results in an overall lowering of volume and inability to hear faint sounds. Sensorineural hearing loss, which accounts for about 90 percent of cases, is the result of nerve damage. This nerve damage is commonly caused by long-term exposure to noise – even at low levels – like machinery and music. It can also be caused by loud, sudden noises like explosions or gunshots. Sensorineural hearing loss is the type most commonly treated with hearing aids.
Benefits of Hearing Aids
Many individuals with hearing loss worry that hearing aids will be uncomfortable, noticeable or ineffective. But thanks to the advancements in hearing aid technology over the past 10 years, today’s hearing aids are smaller, less noticeable and produce better results than ever before. They can also have dramatic effects on your quality of life. In a study of 2,000 adults over 50 with hearing loss, hearing aid users reported improvements in relationships, self-confidence and life overall. The same study revealed that patients with untreated hearing loss are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and paranoia. They also are less likely to participate in organized social activities.
Hearing aids are surprisingly easy to wear and maintain. They need to be cleaned and adjusted only about once every quarter. And there are different types of hearing aids for different types and levels of hearing loss, so you get exactly the right solution for your lifestyle and needs. Once you’ve adapted to your hearing aids, you can expect a marked improvement in your hearing.
The sooner you begin wearing hearing aids, the easier it will be to adapt, says Kind. If you suspect you may be experiencing hearing loss, a free hearing assessment at one of the Miracle-Ear hearing centers in Hays, Salina, Great Bend, Manhattan and McPherson is a great way to determine whether wearing hearing aids could improve your quality of life.