About Hearing Loss

Hearing loss has become quite prevalent. In the past, an accepted statistic was ten percent of the population as being estimated to have some level of hearing loss. Today, that number has increased. In a 2011 survey, John Hopkins Medicine stated that nearly a fifth of all Americans 12 years or older have hearing loss severe enough to make communication difficult. Using that statistic for Canada, that would mean approximately 20% of our 33.7 million (2012 figure) population or rather, 6,720,000 Canadians, suffer from this disability.

The loss of one’s hearing does have many unpleasant ramifications for adults
of all ages. It can be just as devastating for younger people as it is for older adults. Hearing loss can be acquired gradually or suddenly either way can be traumatic.

Let’s take a look at what happens to the individual who acquires a hearing loss over a long period of time, mainly due to the aging ear (presbycusis) and/or noise inducement. 

Usually the family and friends notice the hearing loss first.

After some time, the individual becomes aware of embarrassing moments of inappropriate responses. 

The individual becomes aware of their hearing loss. 

The person may alternate between shouting and whispering.

The hearing world becomes even more difficult to cope with.

Isolation could lead to depression. 

Unexpected sounds may startle the person.

If the person is elderly, family members may become very concerned for personal safety in the home. 

A sudden hearing loss may be caused by illness, accidents or antibiotics given to save the individual from a life threatening illness. Such events become very traumatic for, say, someone who may have experienced unconsciousness then upon becoming conscious to be deafened. The deafened individual is thus unable to communicate with family members, friends and others around them. The isolation is immediate. 

The adult with hearing loss who chooses the path of less resistance becomes a passive victim to hearing loss. In doing nothing about their hearing loss, they are saying “No” to life, an attitude that may be overcome with aural rehabilitation. They can take a more active and challenging course to achieve greater control in their lives. 

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