About Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a significant and increasing health issue affecting individuals of all ages. One out of every 10 Canadians is living with some degree of hearing loss, while 20-40% of adults over the age of 65 report significant hearing loss. For Canadians, hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition behind arthritis and high blood pressure (Statistics Canada, 2002).
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
You might have hearing loss if you:
- Ask people to repeat themselves frequently say “pardon me?” or “what?” often
- Have difficulty following conversations in noisy places such as restaurants or parties
- Think that other people are mumbling have been told that the TV or radio is too loud
- Have trouble hearing women and children’s voices
- Have ringing in your ears
- Favour one ear over the other
- Have family members or friends commenting that you may have hearing loss
If any of these apply to you, have your hearing tested by an HCP, a university-trained and regulated professional that specializes in hearing and hearing loss difficulties.
Between the standards of perfect hearing and deafness, there are many degrees of hearing loss, which vary from person to person. The terms used to describe the degrees of hearing loss are mild, moderate, moderately-severe, severe, and profound. Most hearing loss is mild to moderate.
- Mild hearing loss: unable to hear soft sounds, difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments.
- Moderate hearing loss: unable to hear soft and moderately loud sounds, considerable difficulty understanding speech, particularly with background noise.
- Severe hearing loss: some loud sounds are audible but communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.
- Profound hearing loss: some extremely loud sounds are audible but communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.
A hearing test performed by an HCP can accurately determine your type and degree of hearing loss. Because of the high prevalence of hearing loss in older adults, those over the age of 50 should include a hearing test as part of their yearly checkup.
Consequences of Hearing Loss
Most people simply associate hearing loss with having a harder time hearing certain sounds. However, the potential impact of hearing loss on a person’s life is far worse than that. Research has shown that untreated hearing loss can have a negative impact on psychological, social and emotional well-being.
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to:
- Loneliness and Social Isolation
- Anxiety and Paranoia
- Increased risk of dementia
- Irritability, Stress and Anger
- Reduced Job Performance and Earning Potential
Just as importantly, studies have also shown that these negative consequences are reduced in people who wear hearing aids.
Hearing aid users have:
If you notice you are experiencing some of the signs of hearing loss, it is recommended that you visit our clinic for a hearing test.
- Improved social lives
- Better relationships with family members
- Greater independence
- Improved physical health
- Reduced anxiety, emotional instability and depression
- Fewer incidences of confusion
- Increased earning potential