Hearing Loss Facts

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Our five senses enrich our lives, creating enjoyment and pleasure. Sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing all contribute to a richer, fuller life experience. Hearing is especially vital: it allows us to communicate our wants, needs, and emotions to others.

Hearing loss cannot be reversed, but there are solutions designed to lessen their effects and improve sound quality. Unfortunately, many patients are embarrassed by their hearing loss or unaware of its extent, and fail to utilize the available resources. Your hearing professional can recommend a treatment plan that utilizes the latest advances in technology to improve your hearing experience.

High-Frequency Hearing Loss

One of the earliest symptoms of hearing impairment is an inability to discern high-pitched voices, especially women and children. This is because high frequencies are usually affected first. Just because you can hear somebody doesn’t mean you understand that person. High-frequency hearing loss distorts sound, making speech difficult to understand even when it can still be heard.

Consonants in a high frequency range – words that contain S, F, SH, CH, H, TH, T, K, or soft C sounds – resemble each other closely, and tend to be the most difficult for people with hearing loss to differentiate.

Prevention

The best way to prevent premature hearing loss is to limit your exposure to loud noise as much as possible.

To determine whether noise levels are damaging your hearing, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do I have difficulty talking or hearing others talk over the sound?
  • Does the sound make my ears hurt?
  • Do my ears ring after hearing the sound?
  • Do other sounds seem muffled after exposure?

Answering “yes” to any of the above is an indicator that noise may be causing damage to your hearing. Many people don’t realize just how loud everyday sounds are. Any sound louder than 85 dB can be harmful, depending on the duration and frequency of your exposure. Louder sounds require less exposure time to cause damage. If you are frequently exposed to loud sounds, be sure to use hearing protection devices like earplugs. When used properly, they reduce the volume of sounds reaching the ears.