Hear! Better living with hearing loss tips!
(Family Features) September 18, 2011--
Hearing loss affects over 30 million
Americans — including many of America’s
elderly. Because hearing has a profound
effect on quality of life, it’s important to
know how to recognize hearing loss, and what
can be done about it.
Signs of Hearing Loss
—Have trouble hearing over the telephone?
—Find it hard to follow conversations when
two or more people are talking?
—Often ask people to repeat what they are
—Need to turn up the TV volume so loud that
—Have a problem hearing because of
—Think that others seem to mumble?
—Can’t understand when women and children
speak to you?
Then it’s time to see your doctor and ask
about referrals to an otolaryngologist (a
specialist who can investigate the cause of
hearing loss) or an audiologist (a
specialist who will measure hearing loss).
Many people think that their physician will
tell them during their physicals if they
have a hearing problem. But in reality, only
about 14 percent of physicians routinely
screen for hearing loss. That’s why it’s
important to talk with your healthcare
provider and get screened if you exhibit
hearing loss signs.
Better Living with Hearing Loss
It’s an unpleasant reality — aging can take
a toll on hearing. According to the National
Institute on Deafness and Other
Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 1 in 3
people older than 60 — and half of those
older than 85 — have hearing loss.
Hearing problems can make it difficult to
respond to warnings, understand and follow
doctor’s advice, and even to hear doorbells
and alarms. The good news is that there are
many assistive technologies that can make
living with hearing loss easier.
—Hearing aids of many styles and
capabilities, some of which are hardly
visible and others which can even sync up
with other electronic devices.
—Amplified telephones or telephone caption
services help facilitate outside
—Personal infrared and FM systems make it
easier to hear the television, movies,
meetings and religious services.
—Computerized speech recognition software
lets a computer change a spoken message into
a readable text document.
—Closed-captioned TV (CCTV) shows spoken
dialogue and sounds in a text display. All
TVs now sold with screens of at least 13
inches must have built-in captioning.
Even the seemingly little things can make a
big difference. For older seniors using
hearing aids, getting the small batteries
out of the package can be an exercise in
frustration, as can losing those tiny
batteries. Stress can also cause or
exacerbate hearing loss. Packaging can ease
this frustration and stress. The EZ Turn &
Lock packaging for Energizer hearing aid
batteries is an example of a user-focused
solution that keeps the batteries from
falling out, but has an easy-to-turn dial
that lets you get them out when you need
them with no trouble at all. Find out more
You can learn more about hearing loss at The
Better Hearing Institute
www.betterhearing.org, and the Hearing
Loss Association of America