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Hearing Loss & Hearing Impairment
LISTEN TO YOUR EARS
EVERYTHING ABOUT OUR HEARING AND HOW WE KEEP IT FIT
Our ear is perhaps the most fascinating sensory organ. We owe it the ability to learn and understand languages or to enjoy and play music. Hearing also houses our sense of balance and generally serves as our orientation. Some experts even believe that the loss of the sense of hearing is more serious than the loss of the sense of sight. A blind person perceives his environment in a 360° radius. A deaf person, on the other hand, does not hear the car approaching from behind. His everyday life is full of frightening moments.
Hearing loss should be treated as early as possible because untreated hearing loss can also affect the psyche in the long term. Those affected find conversations stressful, eventually avoid social contact and isolate themselves. A timely visit to a hearing care professional helps to eliminate the risk of serious consequences of hearing loss.
Ears are sensors
Our ears are sensitive sentinels as far as our individual physical condition is concerned. Constant murmuring, whistling or an abrupt loss of hearing are always alarm signals. They can become a tinnitus or even hearing loss, a dangerous inner ear infarction. Slight, temporary ringing in the ears is not a big deal, everyone probably knows that. Frequent, even persistent ringing in the ears, on the other hand, warrants a visit to an ear, nose and throat specialist. They are an indication that we should check our own lifestyle. Do we have too much stress? Do we eat a healthy diet? Do we smoke or drink too much?
You would be wise to listen to your ears.
High-tech from nature
Our ears are true marvels of biology: with tiny ossicles for precision mechanics, a fluid for the sense of balance, and about 3,000 hair cells that ensure we can perceive the highest and lowest frequencies.
Like all high tech devices, our hearing apparatus is very sensitive and prone to wear and tear. The bitter truth: our ears age. Presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) usually sets in after the age of 50. About half of men over 65 and 25% of women over 65 are affected.
It is not so bad at first. As the hearing loss comes on very slowly, our brain learns to compensate for the missing power, so we don't notice it at first.
Age-related hearing loss begins quite harmlessly
The causes are mainly signs of wear and damage to the fine hair cells in the cochlea. But the auditory nerve, the auditory centre and the responsible areas of the brain are also affected by the ageing process. It is a natural process in which hearing loss occurs seemingly without any apparent cause. Exposure to noise also leaves its mark. The process is further accelerated when cardiovascular or metabolic diseases, hereditary predisposition or nicotine consumption are added to the mix. Diabetes, high cholesterol levels or past middle-ear infections also favour old-age hearing loss.
This begins quite harmlessly at first:
- Asking questions frequently because what was said was not understood
- The other person speaks "blatantly and clearly" and uses facial expressions as an aid
- The TV sound becomes worse and dialogue is often difficult to understand
- There are complaints from the partner or neighbours because the TV or radio are too loud
When the TV entertains the whole house
MAKING TELEVISION A LISTENING EXPERIENCE AGAIN
WITH MODERN TECHNOLOGY, THE TV NIGHT BECOMES A PLEASURE AGAIN
Statistically, most people only realise they have a hearing problem when they can no longer understand the TV sound. Perhaps there are already complaints from the neighbours because the sound was turned up too loud. Often, it is only then that the affected person goes to the ear specialist or hearing aid acoustician.
Modern technology offers another way to counter this problem. It ensures that you can fully enjoy your favourite programme again. Thanks to it, the TV night is once again pleasurable.
WHEN THE EARS GET WORSE WITH AGE
It starts with the fact that you perceive high frequencies less. The sound becomes increasingly dull. Later, the mid- and low-frequency range also disappears. At some point, normal communication is no longer possible. People ask questions, misunderstand each other and a lot of things don't get through at all.
If you feel that listening is becoming more and more difficult, this may be an indication of hearing loss. Treat a hearing loss as early as possible. Because untreated hearing loss can seriously affect a person's psyche in the long term. Those affected find conversations very stressful, increasingly avoid social contacts and isolate themselves. A professional hearing test provides certainty. This can be arranged quickly and free of charge at most hearing care professionals.
A wide network of qualified hearing aid acousticians is available to help you advice and support. It is also advisable to visit a hearing care professional in good time to avoid the risk of serious consequences of hearing loss.