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PBS documentary "Spotlight on Hearing Loss"
The following 9.5 minute PBS documentary "Spotlight on Hearing Loss", which is introduced by Internet co-founder Dr. Vinton Cerf, discusses the value of hearing as well as the hearing healthcare process and the making of hearing aids."
This video is a courtesy of www.betterhearing.org if you would like to download the video, please click here.
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The Importance of Having Your Hearing Tested
Many people actually act surprised when you ask them when they last had a hearing evaluation. The thought doesn't arise because people actually feel they don't have a hearing problem. Denial, can and is a serious issue regarding our precious sense of hearing. Hearing loss is the third most widespread affliction surpassed only by arthritis and hypertension in the United States. 1 in 10 Americans or 35 million adults suffer from medically untreatable hearing loss, with an additional five million school aged children suffering from different types of hearing problems.
Hearing evaluations are the only accurate way we can determine if hearing is normal. There are particular patterns of hearing, such as a high frequency or treble impairment, which gives individuals a false sense of security that they hear "just fine." Unless they are in a noisy situation such as a restaurant or family gathering, the hearing loss isn't obvious.
Frequently the television is up louder than is comfortable for others in order to "self correct" the missing high frequencies. The person who raises the television volume might also be the same person who feels there is nothing wrong with their hearing. It is very difficult to determine yourself if you are suffering from hearing loss or whether your difficulties are coming from other sources such as stress or exhaustion. We hear speech with our ears, but we process this information via the brain. Most people do not notice their gradual decline in hearing sensitivity, and subconsciously adjust to reduced hearing ability. There are numerous side effects that can occur when this happens, which can include social, psychological and even physical problems.
A hearing evaluation is a benign, easy task to do with the results important to know for your overall well-being. The test will detect if a loss is present and if so, what is the nature and degree of the loss. The evaluation is best performed by a state licensed and certified Audiologist. Based on the test findings, the Audiologist can then determine if you simply need to be monitored over the next several years; need hearing aids or assistive listening devices such as an amplified telephone: or need a referral for medical management is indicated. Regular hearing testing should begin by the age of 40. Most insurance plans cover the cost of this evaluation.
Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss
An Important Hearing Loss Questionaire
- Do you hear but not understand what is being said?
- Do you frequently ask people to repeat what they are saying?
- Do you raise the volume on the TV or radio?
- Do you have trouble hearing on the telephone?
- Do you feel people mumble, talk too quickly, or speak too softly?
- Do you not appreciate jokes because you miss the punch line?
- Do you have trouble hearing in noisy situations such as restaurants or family gatherings?
- Do you avoid social and business situations?
- Are male voices easier to understand than female voices?
- Do you have difficulty hearing your grandchildren?
- Does your spouse complain that you don't seem to hear?
- Does your family feel that you are not actively participating in conversations with family/friends and that you are withdrawing from these conversations?
- Do you suffer from tinnitus, high pitched or hissing noise?
- Is there a family history of hearing loss?
- Do you feel embarrassed or ashamed when people discuss your hearing problem?
- Are you in denial? (This is not a river in Egypt).