What’d You Say? Knowing When You Might Need Hearing Aids
Were you ever told as a kid to turn your music down because the volume was going to make you go deaf? Have you found yourself — at any age — to be a bit hard of hearing? Such a condition can be incredibly frustrating, as you feel you miss out on nuances of conversation and usually have to ask people to repeat themselves or catch you up. It can make you feel out of the loop or embarrassed. Hearing loss can happen for any number of reasons — either simply age, exposure to loud volumes or noises, or even a bad ear infection can result in some degree of hearing loss. If you feel isolated because of your hearing loss, know that there are literally millions of people who report having trouble with their hearing or experience hearing loss. A listening device or hearing aids may be able to assist you in many cases and knowing good hearing aid care practices is important in maintaining that tool.
How Many People Are Affected By Hearing Loss in the United States?
Almost 38 million people over the age of 18 in the United States say they’ve had some trouble with their hearing. And about 13% of Americans who are 12 years or older say they have hearing loss problems in both ears, according to the routine hearing exams. Almost 1.5 million children have some sort of hearing problem and three in 1,000 infants have serious or profound hearing loss.
About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears.
Of course, the number of people who report having hearing loss issues goes up as a person gets older. Almost 15% of baby boomers (ages 41-59) have issues with their hearing and almost 7.5% of Generation Xers (ages 29-40) have hearing loss.
Additionally, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that around 15% of Americans who are between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss, thanks to exposure to noise either at work or during their leisure time. While hearing loss is frustrating for adults, it can be especially detrimental to children; even mild hearing loss can make a child miss at least half of classroom discussion, hindering his or her learning abilities.
How Can a Hearing Aid Device Help?
Sure, hearing aids might not be the most hip, according to popular culture, but a hearing aid or listening device (and good hearing aid care) can go a long way towards solving hearing issues if it’s becoming a real problem. Indeed, for adults who are 70 years or older and suffer from hearing loss, hearing aids could seriously benefit them. Sadly under 30% of this target group have ever used them. And the number decreases almost by half for adults between the ages of 20 and 69 who should be using hearing aids.
A hearing aid doesn’t let you hear better just in loud situations — it also helps in quiet situations as well. You can program your hearing aid to fit the situation you’re in — is it a one-on-one conversation? A crowded room full of people? They’re not going to fix your hearing loss problem, but they can help you manage it in a useful and proactive way.
What Are Good Hearing Aid Care Practices?
To keep your hearing aids in good condition, you’ll want to practice good hearing aid care. Be sure batteries are charged and that the hearing aids are routinely cleaned and moisture free. Conduct listening checks daily to make sure sound is coming in clear. If you hear feedback coming from the hearing aid, let your audiologist know immediately so he or she can correct the problem. By following these hearing aid care tips, you can have a better hearing aid experience all around!
Don’t be ashamed if you’re suffering from some degree of hearing loss. Millions of Americans are sharing in the same plight and there are steps and measures you can take to mitigate the severity of your hearing loss and help you improve your hearing.