09 Aug, 2017

Do you think you have hearing loss?

Hearing and comprehending are, to some extent, abilities that we have to learn by ourselves. If hearing loss means that certain sounds, for example those in the high-frequency range, are no longer forwarded to the brain, then the brain gradually forgets how to interpret these sounds. It literally forgets how to hear and part of the hearing spectrum gets lost.

If you think you might have a hearing loss, you are not alone. About one in five people in India have hearing loss. If you have suspected for a while, but just haven’t got around to doing anything about it then it is not the right solution. You may be surprised, also dismayed, to know that it takes an average of seven years from the time they think they might have a hearing loss to the time they seek treatment. But don’t worry, it is not as nerve wracking as it seems. We are here to help you, if you feel you have hearing loss.

To help you tell if you have a hearing loss, we have designed a questionnaire for you to answer independently. If you answer yes to some of the following questions, you might have a hearing loss and need consultation immidiately.

Do you…

  • often ask people to repeat what they say?
  • have trouble hearing in groups?
  • think others mumble?
  • fail to hear someone talking from behind you?
  • turn up the volume on the TV or car radio?
  • have difficulty hearing on the phone?
  • have trouble hearing your alarm clock?
  • have difficulty hearing at the movies?
  • dread going to noisy parties and restaurants?

The only way to know for sure is to have a hearing test. Other people sometimes suspect we have a hearing loss before we do ourselves. If someone mentions that they have noticed you have trouble hearing them, take them seriously and go for a hearing test.

Baby boomers are starting to lose hearing from rock concerts they went to when they were young; young people are spending hours listening to music through earbuds and no one knows the long-term effect yet; we are living longer and more people are losing hearing as they age. So, it is very likely that someone you know has a hearing loss even if he or she doesn’t talk about it or realize it yet. As scary as this seems, it is just as normal and easily solvable.

In the case of moderate hearing loss, up to 100% of the lost capability can be regained. This can often be done by surgery or with certain types of hearing aid. The main function of a hearing aid is to act as a kind of an instructor for the brain in order to regain lost hearing.

Hence, don’t be afraid to know for sure if you have even the slightest of hearing loss or not. You must see an ear, nose and throat doctor (otolaryngologist or otologist/ ENT) or your primary care physician to see if you have a hearing loss and to rule out any medical condition. You will find out if you have hearing loss, what might be causing it, and if/how it can be treated. For example, fluid in the middle ear or wax in the ear canal can cause hearing loss.

If you do have a hearing loss, just don’t stress! In fact, tension might just worsen your hearing detriment. There are several things you can do to hear and cope better in situations that have caused you difficulty in communicating. In the event that you are diagnosed with a hearing loss the physician should refer you to a qualified hearing health care professional for a full hearing test. This test will tell you the degree and type of hearing loss and also determine if you could be helped by hearing aids. The hearing health care professional will recommend what type of hearing aid is best for your hearing loss.

Thus, one must realise that the ‘Deaf’ are not ‘Defeated’. There is absolutely no need to feel distraught or miserable on finding out that you have hearing loss, because you do treasure so many more brilliant things than that. Instead, it is crucial for you to take the correct step towards your medical progress and hearing advancement. So we at JOSH foundation run by Devangi Dalal and Dr Jayant Gandhi wish you good luck with that!

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