Home / When Hearing Loss Occurs

 

 You’re Surprise, But Not Others!

When Your hearing Starts To Go

Hearing loss often occurs gradually, and you may not be aware that you have not been hearing well as you once did. You may find you hear well in some situations and wonder why it is difficult for you to understand in others.

Your family, friends, and co-workers may often have to repeat themselves so that you can understand them.

Unlike other disabilities, hearing loss is invisible. There are no wheelchairs, leg braces, or red-tipped canes to indicate that a person has a hearing loss. Yet, hearing loss is the most prevalent, least recognized, and least understood.physical disability. One of every ten people has a hearing loss.

And although not normal at any age, hearing loss is more common among older adults than in the general population. Also, there are other types of hearing loss.

teach-sign-language-to-babies
Old couple with both suffering from partial hearing loss

At age sixty-five, one in every three people has some degree of hearing loss, and the incidence is even higher among those of more advanced years.

Although hearing loss will require some changes, by acknowledging it and with help from professionals and technology – as well as self help – you can enjoy an independent and relaxed lifestyle.

Like many others, you will discover new ways to adapt in order to fully participate in the world around you.

Remember: The real problem with a hearing loss is not the loss itself, but the barrier to communication it creates and the stress you may experience if you do not address it.

 

DEGREES OF HEARING LOSS

Just as people have varying degrees of visual problems, individual problems, individual hearing losses also are different and range from mild to profound. The degree of hearing loss is indicated in decibels. (dB), which is a measure of loudness.

 

teach-sign-language-to-babies
Chart for degree of hearing loss
  • If you have a mild hearing loss (26-45 dB), you may have difficulty hearing and understanding someone who is speaking from a distance or who has a soft voice. You also may have difficulty understanding conversations in noisy backgrounds.

 

  • If your hearing loss is in the moderate range (46 – 65 dB), you will have difficulty understanding conversation in quite backgrounds as well.

 

  • If your hearing loss is in severe (66 – 90 dB), you will have difficulty understanding conversations in all situations.

 

  • If yo have a profound (…greater than 90 dB), you may not even hear loud speech or environmental sounds.

 

But volume is only part of the problem; sounds can also seem distorted. In other words, you can hear, but you cannot understand.

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Health Care Delivery And Special Services

NATIONAL:

Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Impairment, Frank Hochman, MD. 2287 Mowry Avenue, Suite F, Fremont CA 94538

One of the primary aims of this association is to encourage and assist deaf students to enter medicine as a profession

Promoting Awareness in HealthCare, Medical & Deaf  (P.A.H., M.D.) Medical college of Viginia Chapter of AMSA, 1008 West Avenue, #2 Richmond VA, 23220 http://views.vcu.edu/amsa/pahmd.html

This online discussion group is a network of people dedicated to bridging the gap between the medical community and the deaf community.

Physicians, nurses, social workers and others interested in health care among deaf persons participate.

SHHH Hospital Program, SHHH (Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc) 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda MD, 20814 http://www.shhh.org/

This is a complete guide to enable hospitals to provide services for people with hearing loss in health- care settings and to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The program includes a 56-page guidebook (people with Hearing Loss and Health Care Facilities), a staff training video (I Only Hear You When I See Your Face), one “Patient with Hearing Loss” brochure, 10 “Tips for communication” cards, two “Tips for Staff” poster, and stickers of the International Symbol of Access for Hearing Loss (50 1″X1″ stickers; 5 x 7″ stickers).

The complete Hospital Program is $70 for members and $80 for non-members. Components may be purchased separately from SHHH at the address above.

REGIONAL:

California

Health Care Partnership and Access Program for the Deaf Greater Loss Angeles Council on Deafness, Inc.) (GLAD) 2222 Laverna Avenue, Los Angeles CA, 90041, 213-478-8000 TDD/Voice http://www.gladine.org

GLAD provides outreach programs to deaf people, including education on AIDS, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases and substance abuse. 

LIFE SIGNS, a 24-hour medical sign language interpreter referral service, assist in any situations where individual requires immediate medical care  in an emergency room, emergency admittance to a hospital, urgent care center or any emergency matters with  law enforcement personnel.

Special Task Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc ( STID. Inc) PO. Box 482, Atwood CA 92811, 800-STIDVIP (784-996-3774 Voice/TTY

STID provides trained interpreter/medical aides for medical office visits, 24-hour emergency room and urgent care centers, surgery, recovery, childbirth classes, classes, labor, delivery and all diagnostic testing procedures.

STID will provide information, promote advocacy and assist in medical situations as well as referrals for further support. STID provides continuity of care – the same interpreter is provided for all scheduled medical office visits and hospital procedures.

FLORIDA

Crystal Oaks of Pinellas, Health Care and Rehabilitation Center for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, 6767 86th Ave North, Pinellas Park, FL 33782, 813-548-5566 Voice/TTY

ILLINOIS

Silent Care, 2711 W. Howard St. Chicago IL 60645  (773)275-2378 Voice/TTY

A specialized nursing home program responding to the needs of elderly deaf persons at certain long-term care facilities throughout Illinois, providing comprehensive long-term care services to members of the deaf community in a homelike environment.

Two sites are currently under development: Lincoln Park Terrace, 2732 N. Hampton Court, Chicago IL and Plaza Terrace, 3249 W. 147th St, Midlothian IL.

KANSAS

Hear for you, Olathe Medical Center, 20333 W. 151st St, Olathe KS, 66061 913-791-4311

Hear for You provides 24-hour interpreter services to deaf and hard-of-hearing patients and their families. 

KENTUCKY

Heritage Hospice, 337 West Broadway, PO. Box 1213, Danville KY 40422, 606-236-3367 Voice/TTY 800-718-7708 Voice/TTY

Heritage Hospice, a four-county rural hospice, is accessible to deaf patients and their families. HOSPICE provides health care in the home under the direction of the patients doctor. http://www.mednexus.com/adverts/hertiage

MARYLAND

Deaf Services Program, Albert Witzke Medical Center, 3411 Bank St. Baltimore MD, 21224, 410-522-9534 Voice, 410-522-9528 TTY

The Deaf Services Program makes all services of the Baltimore Medical System accessible to patients through full-time sign language interpreters, health care coordination and health education in sign language, including childbirth education and prenatal care.

The Deaf Services Program assist with arranging medical referrals and special test, advocating for an interpreter at the facility of referral, and also provide information and referral to resources  for nonmedical services.

MASSACHUSETTS

Deaf Family Clinic (DPC), Dept. of Pediatrics, New England Medical Center, Boston MA, E-mail: defdo@aol.com

The Deaf Family Clinic acts partly as an advocacy agency for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

MINNESOTA

Health & Wellness Program Serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center, 640 Jackson St, St. Paul MN 55101-2595 612-221-2719 Voice, 612-221-3258 TTY

The Health and Wellness Program provides numerous services to deaf and hard-of-hearing people, including interpreting: sexual health and family planning: prenatal and parent education; sexual assault advocacy; and child abuse education, treatment and prevention.

Mental health and community education services for deaf, hard-of-hearing and deaf-blind people are provided under the direction of Ramsey’s Psychiatric Department.

NEW YORK

jacob Perlow Hospice- Deaf Services Project, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY, 212-420-4129 TTY, 212-420-4543 Voice, 212-420-4131 Fax http://www.whitmore.org/hospicedeaf.html

The Jacob Perlow Hospice-Deaf Services Project provides specialized care to patients with end-stage disease and can assist deaf patients with deaf or hearing families and hearing patients with family members.

This culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate hospice program provides communication access to physicians, nurses, social workers, special therapist and chaplains through qualified and specially trained interpreters. 

Trained volunteers from the deaf, hard-of-hearing and adjoining American Sign Language community provide additional support.

(View Different Type Hearing Aids)

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10 comments on “When Hearing Loss Occurs”

  • My Daddy is 63 years, when you talk to him he still continues with what he’s doing, which most times is writing or reading. You have got to poke him to look up at you before he hears you.

    I usually get frustrated, and think is by purpose but now I know what the problem might be.
    Thank you

    • Thanks Queen for checking in. Based on how you described your dad, he definitely needs his hearing checked. You and the family should take him to see a good ear specialist or an audiologist to determine the extent of his hearing loss. Frustration is a natural feeling we all get when coping with someone close experiencing hearing loss. It’s something we have to deal with while helping the person undergo treatment. How long has your dad been this way? Let me know. Thank you for sharing. Also Queen, please share my site with others you feel it may help.

  • My husband is 72 and I’ve noticed in the past 5 years his hearing has deteriorate. I can be a room away and hear everything going on in his office. Yet when I speak to him he cannot hear me. I was shocked at the statistic of 1 – 3 over 65 have hearing loss. This seems high!… but I don’t doubt it. I went to a lot of rock concerts in my 20s and I often wonder if I’m next. Thanks for the great post and graphic. I’m forwarding it to my husband.

    • Thanks Jacking for stopping by and commenting. High statistics, but true. I’ve researched this to confirm my findings and the numbers are the same. I hope your husband is having his condition looked into and followed up by an ear specialist. In your case, I hope you’re not attending anymore rock concerts. There is no reason to believe you’ll experience hearing loss from your past loud musical outings, unless you’re slowly showing symptoms now. It really all depends on the sensitivity of an individual’s ears and how much they’ve endured.

      Recently Jackie, have you been experiencing any issue’s with your hearing to date? Please let me know so I could assist you further.

  • Hi there, well this is interesting that I found this page. Recently, I have found that I am asking people to repeat themselves not just once but twice sometimes. It is usually when there is other noise around too like you mentioned the background noise. It is not always from a distance either sometimes the person speaking could be right next to me.

    • Hi Paula and thanks for checking in. Have you been taking any type of medication such as high blood pressure or diabetic pills for an extended period of time? These are known as ‘ototoxic’ medicines which, over time slowly causes damage to the cochlea in the inner ear thus, creating hearing loss. Set yourself up with an appointment with your doctor for a complete ear exam or let him/her recommend a specialist. Anything else i could help you with? Please share my site with others. Thanks.

  • Hey Ronald
    What is the main cause of hearing loss? Are there any generic factors to be considered, or is it just environmental influences?
    Is there any hearing protection equipment that you recommend, particularly for those working in noisy environments?
    Also, are cochlea transplants always successful?
    I enjoyed your informative post.

    • Hi Keith

      There are many causes of hearing loss, including: heredity, accidents, diseases (such as measles, mumps, and spinal meningitis), drugs, noise, and aging. If you recognized your hearing loss when you were fifty-five or older, the most probable cause was age-related hearing loss are due to unknown causes.

      As far as genetic factors are concerned, a child can inherit this disability from one or both parents.

      On a cochlear implant, it’s surgically implanted in the mastoid bone to stimulate the hearing nerve and enable a hard-of-hearing person to perceive some sound; the implant does not restore normal hearing.

      If you work in a loud and very noisy environment, the best thing that I would recommend using to protect your ears are Moldex 6800 Pura-Fit Soft Foam earplugs, which you can get right here on my site. Just go back to my home page, scroll down right side. Keith, please don’t hesitate to contact me with other questions or concerns. Also share my page with others. Thanks for commenting.

  • its well known that one of the barrier to communication is when the communicators are not hearing what they are communicating and with hearing loss it can also hinder the communication process and with the information you have just provided under the heading “what is hearing loss ?” i have learned a lot and if correctly applied it will be a benefit to me and the people around me

    thanks

    cheers
    Jose

    • Thanks Jose for commenting. Yes I agree, communication process is so important. My dad was hard of hearing and a lot of times we had to listen closely and figure out what he was trying to say. Most of the time, his answers were irrelevant to the conversation. I guess, at that time, all we could do was make the best of it. Please share my site with others you feel this may help. Thanks again.