What are Some Common Misconceptions of Mild Hearing Loss? Kimi Nina Møller Charlotte T. Jespersen

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  • November 29, 2016
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A new study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery points to a potential new novel therapy for those experiencing tinnitus. We work collaboratively with local service providers and specialized provincial organizations. I have an MRI scheduled today to make sure there isn’t a tumor causing the issue, but other than that I don’t really… Exposure to very loud noise does cause hearing loss, but the fact you’re being affected when it seems your friends are not is another reason to get tested now. They are decreased audibility, reduced dynamic range, reduced frequency resolution, reduced temporal resolution and increased listening fatigue. The incidence of hearing loss grows as we age. This statement made me laugh out loud, especially since she delivered it in her characteristic accent and style, but it has stayed with me all these years, because it is such a common misnomer — that making something louder solves all hearing problems.

People with a mild hearing loss are likely to hear some sounds, but not others or part of others. In particular the softer phonemes, which are usually consonants, may not be heard. I also serve on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America and was the Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation from 2012-2015. The reason for this is twofold, these phonemes are weaker and they are high frequency phonemes, which is the frequency area most commonly affected by impairment. The high-frequency components of speech are weaker than the low-frequency components and because the loudness of speech mostly originates from the low-frequency components, people with high frequency hearing loss may not realize that they are hearing less of the speech signal, even when they cannot understand speech in many situations. Statements like “speech is loud enough, but not clear enough” and “if only people would not mumble” are common. A sensorineural hearing loss increases the threshold of hearing much more than it increases the threshold of loudness discomfort, resulting in the range between the hearing threshold and the loudness discomfort being decreased.

There is enough information on anatomy and physiology to give the reader a basic understanding of how we hear and what can go wrong with the system. Disease-specific instruments that are grounded in an understanding of predictable disease consequences and precise treatment outcome goals afford greater potential, ipso facto, of being sensitive to treatment effects. Yes. If a loved one usually makes an effort, maybe you can let this one thing go. Try to identify a group that matches your perspective and philosophy. The terminology mild hearing loss is in other words a misnomer. Although this is a rare condition, appropriate hearing aids do not need to be expensive.

A consequence of mild hearing loss is reduced audibility resulting in reduced speech intelligibility in general, but especially in noise and over distance. Another consequence is increased listening fatigue with the risk of affecting social life. So, continued patience, compassion and factual information will surely pay off! However, within the group of hearing- impaired individuals, people with mild hearing losses are the least likely to own hearing aids. There are many reasons for this, one being that many people with mild hearing impairment are unaware of their hearing loss. Some seniors experience a type of hearing loss where certain sounds are difficult to hear, such as the “shhh” sound. Absolutely not.

As professionals we are aware of the consequences of mild hearing losses and the benefits of amplification and we are obliged to at least help this group of hearing-impaired people make an informed decision on whether they want amplification now or later. People with mild hearing losses on average experience fewer hearing loss related problems in their daily life, than people with more severe hearing losses. For this reason they also on average get less hearing aid benefit. However, they DO gain benefit from amplification and this is a key message that the audiologist has to pass on to the hearing-impaired individual (Mecklenburger & Joergensen, 2009). Good enough reason not to go through with it. Occlusion effect is one potential disadvantage of hearing aids, but with the launch of open fittings back in 2003 this is no longer an issue as open solutions now are multiple. The most annoying thing currently is days of constant tinnitus; it is like when you put your ear to a shell full time combined with spikes of high tones that are so loud that I can hear the sound waves coming out of my ear (if I put my hand next to my ear, I can actually feel the sound waves; it is kind of cool, but also really creepy as no one else says they can hear them).

Audiologists often tend to focus on audibility first and cosmetics second, but the hearing aid user might have it the other way around. The concern about appearance has to be taken seriously, since the hearing aids will be of no use, if the hearing-impaired person is so concerned about his or her appearance that they will not wear them. Despite this it is almost comforting to know that this has stabilised, it will never get any better but it will never get any worse. are the questions concerned around the solution provided or around the size and visibility of the device. I was lucky enough to become involved with Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) and found my way onto the Board of Directors. Frustration on the part of the hearing-impaired person, but also on the part of the family. Loss of long distance contact with friends and family due to fatigue when having phone conversations.

Fear that independence will be taken away, e.g. if the hearing-impaired person is elderly and suffering from additional handicaps. Fear that responsibilities will be taken away, e.g. in the work place. It is imperative, that the audiologist tries to really understand the person in front of him or her to be able to help them better and provide the best possible service. Communication strategies can be used as part of the treatment to improve hearing aid benefit. They help the hearing aid user to take responsibility of the treatment, which increases likelihood of success.

Communication strategies can also be used as a stand-alone treatment until acceptance of hearing impairment and motivation for amplification is present. Training in communication strategies can focus on training the hearing-impaired person in choosing a good listening environment e.g. rooms with good acoustics, light on the person the hearing-impaired individual wants to hear and good signal-to-noise ratio, so the hearing-impaired person is closer to the wanted signal, than to the unwanted signal or noise source. Communication strategies can also be training the hearing-impaired individual in how he or she can educate the surroundings in helping him- or her out hearing better e.g. —Editor. Finally, training in communication strategies is training the hearing-impaired individual him- or herself in what (s)he can do to improve hearing e.g. accept that no one hears everything, facilitate communication by being specific when asking for repetition e.g.

“what time did you say your sister will visit us” instead of “pardon”, be understanding towards communication partners, who do not know what it is like to have a hearing loss and tends to forget the good communication strategies.

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