Do you have a mild hearing loss?
October 11, 2019
Having a little difficulty hearing? Maybe not all the time; but, seems like your not catching everything that people are saying. Maybe you’re just feeling preoccupied and not paying attention. Maybe, just maybe, you have a mild hearing loss.
A mild hearing loss is a hearing loss where your thresholds are between 25-40 decibels (dB). Normal hearing thresholds are considered 0-20 dB. No two hearing loss scenario’s are the same. A flat hearing loss is where your hearing levels are the same in the low frequencies as the high frequencies. This type of loss may be more obvious at first than one in which you only have a loss in the high frequencies. With a flat hearing loss, everything is too soft and so you just turn things up until people start complaining. A hearing loss in which you still hear the low frequencies normally but drop in the high frequencies elude many to the opinion that they don’t have a hearing problem. This is because the low frequencies provide our volume. This means that the volume of what you are listening to is ok. However, the high frequencies give about 80% of our speech understanding. The high frequencies are where the consonants like f, k, s and sk are located in the hearing spectrum. These sounds are very soft. So what happens with this type of loss is that most people will start turning up the volume when ever possible to try and bring in the speech better. (Like on tv). The only problem with this solution is that it turns up the low frequencies that you already hear very well and therefore the background noise just gets louder and drowns out the speech. Some people will need to mute the tv to understand who is trying to tell them something. With a mild hearing loss you will hear ok if you are near the person but get down the hallway and now you will notice a problem.
Often, people with a mild hearing loss feel like they are having sinus problems and are just “clogged up due to allergies.” Many times people are certain that they must have an ear full of wax and that is what makes people sound like they are mumbling. This is usually not the case. It is simply the auditory system trying to hear sounds that are too soft.
If you are experiencing signs of a possible mild hearing loss then contact your qualified Hearing Health Care Provider and set up a consultation. If it determined that you do indeed have a mild hearing loss then it can be corrected quite well with hearing instruments. Hearing instruments will enable those with a mild hearing loss to understand speech better when they are competing with other sounds.
Research over the past few years have shown that wearing hearing instruments can help slow down cognitive decline. Studies are currently being conducted to show that wearing hearing instruments can protect the patients auditory system. Treating a mild hearing loss usually means the patient is a few years younger than someone with a moderately severe or severe loss. Usually, it is easier for a younger person to adapt to amplification. Our fingers usually work better when we are younger. So just learning to put the hearing instrument on can be easier. A mild loss also means that the patient has not gone as many years without stimulating the hearing nerves. Remember, we hear with our brains...so the longer you go without working the nerves the harder it is for the brain to determine what sounds are supposed to sound like.
If you are experiencing any type of communication difficulties then it is time to seek out a qualified Hearing Health Care Provider for a hearing assessment and consultation. It is an easy step to help protect your brain. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!