Health&Wellness Magazine May 2016 - Page 19

omplimentary hearing consultation! For advertising information call 859.368.0778 or email | May 2016 –COLUMN PROVIDED BY– ogy list ist gy HEARING 963.2958 & 19 Lexington • 259 Southland Dr 859.963.2958 | Other convenient locations: 259 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY Prestonsburg • 1428 N Lake Dr Pikeville • 5425 N Mayo Trail, Ste 201 m Signs, Consequences and Myths of Hearing Loss By Dr. Brewer, Audiology Associates Did you know over 45 million Americans have hearing loss? Over half of those with hearing loss are under 65 years of age. One in 14 Generation Xers already has hearing loss. One in six baby boomers has a hearing issue. Three in 10 people over the age of 60 have hearing loss. Hearing loss does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone no matter his or her age, demographic background or ethnicity. Often the signs of hearing loss are ignored. This article seeks to describe those signs, discuss the consequences of hearing loss and explain some myths that go along with it. • Difficulty hearing in noisy situations such as conferences, restaurants or crowded meetings • Requiring frequent repetition • Ringing in your ears EMOTIONAL SIGNS • Feeling nervous about trying to hear or understand • Feeling annoyed at others because you do not hear or understand them well • Feeling stressed from straining to hear what others are saying • Feeling embarrassed about meeting new people • Withdrawing from social situations you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing SIGNS OF HEARING LOSS Hearing loss can be gradual or sudden. Loved ones often notice signs of hearing loss before the patient even recognizes he has a problem. Here are some warning signs to look for: MEDICAL SIGNS • Family history of hearing loss • Taking medications that can affect the hearing system • Exposure to loud noises • Memory loss • Diabetes • Thyroid problems • Hypertension • High blood pressure SOCIAL SIGNS • Trouble hearing women and children • Reading lips or watching an individual’s face when they speak • Answering or responding inappropriately in conversation • Thinking voices sound muffled CONSEQUENCES OF HEARING LOSS It is well documented that untreated hearing loss can significantly increase the possibility of depression and anxiety. While it is natural to have some degree of depression following the diagnosis of hearing loss, left untreated, it can severely hinder quality of life. When an individual is unable to clearly understand conversations, feelings of shame, humiliation and inadequacy can arise. The desire to hide hearing aids often results from these feelings, as hearing aids are a visible reminder that someone is “different.” However, the stress of untreated hearing loss can lead to distrust, sadness, depression, anger, isolation, poor selfimage and feeling inadequate. Too often guilt can be thrown into the emotional mix because many individuals blame themselves for the misunderstandings. People sometimes become over-apologetic for asking others to repeat themselves. It is crucial to remember the problem is not any one person’s fault. MYTHS ABOUT HEARING LOSS “Minor surgery can correct my hearing loss and everything will be okay.” While surgery can correct some types of hearing loss, in fact it is estimated that only 5 percent to 10 percent can be treated by surgery. “Hearing loss is a normal part of aging [