Many adults think hearing loss is the total absence of sound. If that were true, people would wake up one day and with the complete inability to hear ALL sounds and chances are good that they would RUSH to their doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
This is not what we as adults experience. For adults hearing loss is typically a gradual onset. Statistics indicate it takes the average adult seven years to recognize and seek testing and treatment for decreased hearing. During this time, the mind rationalizes why hearing has become less precise. People attribute their hearing loss to others mumbling or failing to speak clearly. They may think that others complaining the TV volume is too loud is just unfounded. They may decide not to participate in activities where listening is important and become out of touch with family and friends. They do learn to look at faces and guess at words that are not clear. Unfortunately, sometimes they may guess wrong and could proceed to “wash the dog” instead of the requested ” walk the dog.” After a time, they may decide to seek the help of an audiologist who can check their hearing and advise on options for hearing improvement. Most often the improvement is accomplished with hearing aids. Today hearing aids are small computers that are adjusted to each individual’s needs.
If you have concerns for hearing loss for you or someone you care about consider having a hearing evaluation or consult. To find out more about these services visit the Hearing and Audiology section of our website.
To read more about adult hearing loss, read this article by Audrey Carlsen: The Real Sounds of Hearing Loss