Hearing has an emotional impact more subtle and profound than sight. We are rarely in complete silence. We continue to hear when we are asleep, which ultimately affects our dreams. We can even learn through aural suggestions while we sleep.
More than the loss of any other sense, hearing loss impacts the whole household. Overly loud televisions and radios annoy teenagers trying to study, as phones and doorbells that go unanswered become a source of annoyance. Social situations become battlegrounds as the challenges of hearing frustrate and confound, putting further pressure on close family members.
Hearing loss can have a catastrophic impact on sufferers. A hearing condition can be accompanied by ringing in the ear or extreme sensitivity to noise at a specific pitch. It can be life changing to no longer be able to enjoy music or social situations that were once an immense source of joy.
Living with a spouse, parent or child that has hearing difficulties or loss requires a change in the way you listen and perhaps some alterations around the home. A problem with hearing can be emotionally traumatic. For hearing sufferers that are concerned with their appearance, the idea of wearing a listening aid is embarrassing.
Advances in audio hearing devices have seen the size reduced to fit into the ear canal. Today’s hearing devices are so small they can be completely concealed from anyone but the wearer.
For others, hearing loss seems like a disability and pride stops them seeking a diagnosis. Hearing loss affects about 17% of Australians, or over 3.5 million people*, yet the number of people who have their hearing tested regularly over the age of 50 is far lower than the 75% of Australians who have had their eyes examined in the past two years+.
It can be difficult to bring up the possibility of hearing loss. Knowing that in most cases it can be treated eliminates many of the objections to seeking help and visiting an audio clinic. If you need help crafting a conversation with someone you care about, start with why you think they may not be addressing the issue.
Listening is crucial to understanding. Taking some time to really hear what your loved one with a hearing problem is experiencing will help them make the decision to get a hearing test. If your loved one isn’t completely convinced, Bay Audio hosts a free online hearing test for Australians. The result will then give you both an indication of how severe the hearing loss is.