The Impact of Hearing Loss

Posted: 4/29/2012 8:30 AM by Interim HealthCare

Imagine not being able to participate in a conversation or hear the dialogue of a television show. For 37 million Americans that is their reality as they learn to live without their hearing. Hearing loss can have a significant impact on the day-to-day living, but recognizing the signs early can help you receive the proper treatment.

At Interim HealthCare, we understand how a hearing loss can impact your ability to participate in the world around you. Our Personal Care services offer in-home care that help to eliminate the social situation that can come with hearing loss. Services include companionship options such as conversation, reading and correspondence.

It is important to visit your doctor at the first sign of hearing loss so you can be properly diagnosed. Not all hearing loss is the result of aging. In addition to sense isolation, recent studies have shown that there may be a connection between hearing loss and falls in older adults. the study looked at participants in a 2001 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that those with 25 dB of hearing loss were three times as likely to experience a fall.

Symptoms of hearing loss include:

  • Trouble making out the details of conversations
  • Muffled sound that gradually fades Pain in one or both ears
  • Dizziness, vertigo
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

An audiogram can determine what hearing loss you have suffered. Normal hearing falls within a 0 to 15 decibels (dB), while mild hearing loss is in the range of 16 to 25 dB. If your test comes back within 56 to 90 dB you have severe hearing loss. People with severe loss have trouble hearing others speak.

The three main types of hearing loss are conductive, senosorineural and mixed hearing loss. Conductive is the result of a problem in the ear canal or middle ear that doesn't allow sound to carry into the inner ear. Senorineural is more than an age-related hearing loss and is caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both and can be the result of an injury, infection or an inherited condition.