Looking out for your ears

  • Fitness
  • Monday, 08 Dec 2014

“God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” – Anonymous.

Having trouble with your hearing? Do you keep asking people to repeat themselves? Or do you keep cranking up the volume of the radio while everyone else says it is too loud? Have you ever wondered that this could be happening because you have a hearing problem?

According to the American CDC (Center of Disease Control), hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition after heart disease and arthritis and is even more widely spread than other common diseases like diabetes and asthma. Studies show that every third person over 50 years is affected by hearing loss – about 600 million people worldwide.

With such a significant number, hearing loss is no longer a specific topic reserved for the elderly, but a topic that affects all of us.

Problems with our vision may affect our reading or driving, and pain may prevent us from focusing or sleeping. But how about hearing loss? What is its impact on an individual?

Hearing loss doesn’t hurt

“Hearing loss doesn’t hurt”, says Nils Neubauer, managing director at Hearing Experts Malaysia. “We can go for years without recognising we have a problem.”

Hearing Experts’ audiologists are from Germany and have more than 10 years experience.

The progress of hearing loss is often so gradual that many people don’t realise the impact until the situation becomes severe. They’ve been compensating for years, but those techniques are just not working anymore.

“We have many customers who tell us that they think they’re doing fine, but they have come to see us because their family members think otherwise.

“Many of them think that the problem is, in fact, the people around them who constantly mumble,” says Neubauer.

In fact, good hearing isn’t just about what you hear – it’s about how you feel and function.

The National Council of Aging in America commissioned a large-scale study entitled The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss in Older Americans.

In the 1999 study, it was outlined that treated hearing loss resulted in improvements in the social, emotional, psychological and physical functioning of the person with the hearing loss.

Thus those who have not sought treatment for their hearing loss, could in fact be living a poorer quality of life than they potentially could have access to.

Common prejudice: Hearings aids make you look old

In general people tend to wait around seven years after diagnosis of hearing loss to pursue with hearing aids. Many people are concerned that hearing aids will make them look old.

“It really isn´t the fact that you are wearing hearing aids that makes you look old.

“It´s a fact that you are asking people to repeat themselves all the time that gives that impression. And it frustrates the people who are trying to communicate with you,” Neubauer says.

Modern hearing aids have nothing to do with the old-school, skin-coloured tools your grandparents may have worn. Nowadays, there are small and stylish high-tech gadgets which can be connected to your smartphone to stream media data directly into your ears.

“The new generation of hearing aids is even able to detect the surroundings of where you are and automatically adjust sound settings accordingly,” says Neubauer.

Why you should get a hearing test

  1. If left untreated, the nerves associated with hearing as well as the part of the brain that is programmed to understand speech will become underused. Thus the longer hearing loss is left untreated, the harder it will be to understand speech and the lower the success of any kind of hearing treatment, including hearing aids.
  2. Those who have untreated hearing loss may find themselves struggling in their work environment due to their limited communication. A study by Better Hearing Institute entitled The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income found that the estimated cost for Americans in lost earnings caused by untreated hearing loss is US$122 billion.
  3. Social gatherings are a challenge to enjoy if you suffer from hearing loss. Imagine being present among your friends, but not knowing what others are debating or laughing about. People with untreated hearing loss find it difficult to communicate, and as a result, refuse or avoid attending social events which at one time used to be enjoyable.
  4. At one time, hearing aids were not a very affordable form of treatment to those suffering from hearing loss. However, that has changed dramatically. Treatment through high-quality, custom-programmed hearing aids have become more affordable throughout the years, which have helped improve many lives of those who suffer from hearing loss.

This article is brought to you by Hearing Experts Malaysia. Hearing Experts Malaysia is an innovative provider of high-quality hearing aids at reasonable prices. Our mission is to provide you with our expertise and independent advice. For more info, call 03 2035 6772 or visit www.hearingexperts.net/consultation/

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Looking out for your ears


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