Hearing loss affects a large proportion of the population and to maintain a rich fulfilling life in latter years we should be encouraged to embrace the exciting technology that has been developed over recent years. It is estimated that 50% of people over the age of 65 have a hearing loss that impairs communication. As we age we are affected by our brain’s slowing memory and ability to process information and this has been statistically linked to a reduction in the quality of life. Our brains are remarkably good at adaptation so even with a hearing loss we still use other cues and logic to make sense of what we hear to a point.
Typically our high frequency range will be lost first in aging, resulting in a compromise of speech understanding. This change happens over a period of 5 – 10 years and can often be most harsh on those that are closest. The hearing impaired person may not be aware of changes to their hearing as they are their own point of reference. This can have very negative effects on close relationships, simply through frustration. This will get to as tipping point where conversational mistakes are made. Social avoidance and isolation will become the next problem for many people.
Hearing loss is not as simple as amplification. If we are hearing mumbling, turning the volume up will still be a mumble. Hearing aids restore the sound environment by giving preferential amplification across a wide frequency range, depending on each personal loss measured with an audiogram.
A major complaint of hearing loss is the inability to hear when there is competing noise. To ensure you catch every word of the conversation, hearing aids remove unwanted noises while preserving important soft sounds such as quiet speech. The hearing aid will automatically maximise sound clarity by adapting to changes in your listening environments as they occur.
Wireless technology has taken hearing assistance to the next level with wireless connections to phones, TV, computers and audio systems available.
As Audiologists we see many examples of mismatches in expectations. To get maximum benefit from aids there is a learning process and aids must be adjusted exactly to an individual’s hearing needs. They cannot be simply the satisfaction one gets from wearing glasses as our listening environment is very complex and constantly changing. It is very important to work in collaboration with the Audiologist and frequent consultations to get optimal benefit should always be encouraged. As an Audiologist this gives a great degree of satisfaction and fulfilment. I always encouraged people to at least know the status of their hearing so they have greater appreciation of this wonderful sense of ours. A screening test is very simple and pleasurable.
It’s time to reconnect…
Fleurieu Hearing is a fully accredited and independent audiology practice, located in the main street of McLaren Vale and servicing the southern suburbs of Adelaide.
Mary Trowbridge is an independent Audiologist offering a full range of audiology services, including an introduction to hearing tests which give you a baseline understanding of your hearing levels. This includes advice and discussion on hearing difficulties and tinnitus.
At Fleurieu Hearing, I pride myself on providing an efficient and personalised service and will always take the time to customise hearing solutions to suit your lifestyle needs.
In most cases hearing loss is permanent and caused by aging, genetics or a lifetime of noise exposure. If hearing loss affects your quality of life, whatever your age, hearing aids will help your situation by enabling communication. Often, hearing loss affects people closest to you dramatically.
What we don’t hear, we don’t know we are missing. This can be interpreted as an attitude or disinterest in surroundings with the likely consequence of being left out of conversations or social gatherings. If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, chances are you are. Book a free hearing test with Fleurieu Hearing and hear the world as you remember it.