What is Hearing Loss?
Reduced hearing is caused by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:
- Prolonged exposure to noise
- Trauma to the head or ears
- Genetic factors
- Certain medications or syndromes.
It is often seen as something that just affects older people, however, hearing loss can affect anyone.
In fact, it is the third most common health problem today, with approximately 1 out of 4 Canadians experiencing some degree of reduced hearing.
Many people think that hearing loss means that you cannot hear, however, reduced hearing is not being able to clearly understand what you hear – it sounds differently for everyone.
People with hearing loss often use the word “muffled” to describe sounds and speech.
For someone who has high frequency hearing loss, which is common with aging, softer sounds, such as, sh, ch, f, s and t are not heard. This can cause the person with reduced hearing to become frustrated, as they are able to hear that someone is talking but they may not be able to understand what is being said. It takes their brain longer to process the sentence, due to the sounds that they missed.
But… What Does this Mean?
Some examples of what a person with a high pitched hearing loss may hear include:
- _an you _ake ou_ _ome _ish _or _upper?
- _red made u_ _ome _ish and __ips.
- _he _old her old _ish _ank.
- _ally i_ my be__ _riend.
- __e wan__ _o have _ome ma_ and __ee_e _or lun__.
Could you guess what was being said? Here are the answers:
- Can you take out some fish for supper?
- Fred made us some fish and chips.
- She sold her old fish tank.
- Sally is my best friend.
- She wants to have some mac and cheese for lunch.
So… Are All Hearing Losses the Same?
Hearing loss is not the same for everyone who experiences it. It can be caused by a variety of factors, and can affect people in different ways. Reduced hearing can be mild, moderate, severe or profound. Hearing loss and its impact varies from person to person, however, it is important to be aware of the realities of hearing loss.
Educating yourself is a great first step. If you, or a family member of friend is experiencing common signs of hearing loss, your next step can be to connect with a hearing loss support specialist to learn more. Click the image below to learn more.