A federal study finds that about a quarter of people between the ages of 20 and 69 who think their hearing is good or excellent are in fact showing signs of hearing loss. Board certified audiologist Dr. Leisa Lyles-DeLeon shares significant ways hearing loss can impact daily life below.
Millions of people suffering from hearing loss put off getting help because they don’t realize the drastic improvement it could have on their daily lives. When most think of hearing loss, there are many important factors that don’t get considered.
Here are a few ways hearing loss could be affecting your life:
Reports from a recent study showed people suffering from hearing loss were less likely to be employed and those employed were more likely to earn significantly lower wages. Left untreated, hearing loss can poorly impact productivity and work performance, ultimately impacting career success and wages.
Awkward Social Interactions
Struggling to participate in conversations is common among those suffering with hearing loss. Imagine only catching bits and pieces of conversations while trying to exude the appropriate response. This can lead to a lot of miscommunication if the wrong response is displayed, for example smiling when someone is actually communicating something sad like the illness of a loved one.
Perceived Lack of Skill or Ability
Unfortunately, there are still social stigmas tied to hearing loss. This could lead to attributing someone’s hearing condition to a perceived notion of unintelligence or inability to do certain tasks. For those suffering from hearing loss, their confidence overall can become impacted, which can in turn lead to turning blame inward.
Older adults with hearing loss may hear noise but may not be able to discern what it is. This may be especially true with speech, making conversations extremely difficult. This is all dependent on the specific type of hearing loss, which may call for different kinds of communication needs.
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of energy and effort it takes for someone who is hearing impaired to listen. In reality, it’s extremely exhausting and causes fatigue, which can impact the desire to partake in leisure activities and also impacts work productivity. The brain has to work much harder to think and interpret sound and produce speech. These are things many who don’t suffer from hearing loss ever have to think about.
The use of a hearing aid can be a major relief to these problems. Digital hearing aids that are rechargeable use modern technology and are more user-friendly than ever. Research shows that of the nearly 35 million hearing impaired Americans, 11 percent of the U.S. population, more than 25 million of them did not have a hearing aid. Hearing aids have been shown to reduce the impact of lost wages for the hearing impaired by 50 percent. They can also challenge fatigue by reducing the amount of energy and effort needed to listen attentively. These benefits in turn can reduce perceptions of a lack of skill or ability and frustration on the part of the impaired.
Based in Washington, D.C., Dr. Leisa Lyles-DeLeon earned her Doctorate Degree in Audiology from the Arizona School of Health Sciences and a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology from the George Washington University. She brings over a decade of experience in clinical audiology, the hearing aid industry education and research.
Dr. Lyles-DeLeon is a dedicated board member of the District of Columbia, a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and the American Speech Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Author and licensed audiologist, Dr. Lyles-DeLeon, brings a passion and commitment to hearing health care that extends beyond the technology. Understanding that hearing difficulties affect not only you but your loved ones and associates, Dr. Lyles-DeLeon brings a unique focus to Audiology, focusing on each individual patients’ hearing needs as they relate to lifestyle, health and social life and well-being.