Children And Hearing Loss – A Personal Tale

Children and hearing loss is a complicated issue. To this day I don’t know when my hearing loss started. It wasn’t something I just discovered one day. It was something I became aware of gradually over time.

hearing loss sign

For most young children, concepts such as hearing loss or illness, in general, are way beyond our reach. Children live in the here and now and I certainly was no different.

I was 8 years old when my parents first brought me to see a doctor about my ears. I’d love to say that it had dawned on them that something was wrong with my hearing but alas, it was because I had stuck a bead in one of my ears and it refused to come out, (boys will be boys).

Upon removing the offending bead, the doctor examined my ears and set me on a path of over 40 years of hospital visits, examinations, audiologists, and operations.

Why did no one recognize sooner that something was wrong?

Why would they? I was a typical young boy. Full of adventure and mischief. I certainly didn’t know that anything was wrong, so I couldn’t tell anyone. My little friends didn’t notice anything wrong either. As normal kids, we were constantly running around screaming and shouting anyway.

When I didn’t do something my parents asked me to do, it was put down to me not paying attention or having what most parents say about their kids, “selective hearing.”

It was only when that doctor diagnosed me as having hearing problems that my troubles began.

That’s when I became aware that I was a little bit different from my friends. Not that they treated me any different but I knew. I didn’t need hearing aids at this stage, just the first of many operations. This is when my real journey began.

Moving to a new school at 11 years old was a nightmare for me. Not from a pupil point of view I might add. I suddenly found myself being constantly punished or ignored by my teachers.

Children hearing loss

Some of them simply didn’t know how to deal with me and generally left me out of class discussions. I don’t believe that they meant any malice towards me, they just didn’t know how to engage me, (special needs wasn’t around in those days).

Then there were the teachers who certainly did know how to deal with me. I was constantly punished for not paying attention in class or for not having my homework done or being lazy or in one case, for simply being stupid. This was all done in spite of me continually telling them that I couldn’t hear what they were saying. The most common response I got back was, “You don’t have hearing aids so there is nothing wrong with you”.

That led to a deep seated hatred of education that I carried around with me until I was in my 30’s. I left school on the first available day that I could after my 16th birthday. I eventually went back and even went to university (a distance learning course) just to prove to myself that I could do it.

Then there were the teenage years.

I had 4 or 5 operations in my ears during my teenage years. I still didn’t use hearing aids. They were offered once but I nearly had a fit. Wild horses would not have made me wear anything that didn’t look cool. As far as I was concerned, hearing aids were for old people. I would get by without them.

My circle of friends never once treated me any differently. They would have been aware that I had hearing problems but that was just who I was. It was the girls that I was worried about.

My biggest fear, like most teenagers, was rejection. Mine more so because I was afraid that girls would use my hearing problem as an excuse to keep their distance. I believe that this is the single biggest reason that I developed a skill that I still use to this day.

My self-taught new language.

Children and hearing loss

I began to read people’s lips, facial expressions, and body language. I found that I could almost always tell exactly what a person was saying, even in a crowded disco by reading the other signs that they were giving off. It was like a whole new language I was learning and I must say it didn’t hurt with the girls either as I got a reputation as a great listener.

I have continued to use the other signs that people give off up until this very day, even though I now wear two hearing aids. It just comes naturally to me and is a part of my life.

I survived my childhood. As you can see it was split between good and not so good. Every child with a hearing problem will have a different story to tell. I know schools are a lot more tuned into these sort of things today but there will be other areas where children will still struggle.

Children and hearing loss is a complicated issue. Too often people are too quick to simply dismiss quiet or even unruly behaviour in children as personality quirks. Don’t be so quick to judge. A child’s behaviour may be only a symptom of something else.

The problem with hearing loss in children, in particular, is that it is hidden. You can’t see it and they aren’t conscious enough of it to tell you what they are experiencing. Look for the signs, check out my blog on symptoms of hearing loss in children – Top 10.

If in any doubt, please consult a medical expert, it can make a world of difference.

As always, I welcome any comments you may have. If there is something you want to discuss or want further information on, then put it in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Regards,

Eddie (eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com)

 

Where To Buy Hearing Aids. A Review

With the explosion of the internet and the availability of products online, I often get asked where to buy hearing aids. There is an overwhelming choice out there and it can be very confusing. How do you know what to buy and where from?

 

I have used a few different methods over the years. I have outlined 2 of them here and shown why I used them.

Amazon hearing aids.

If you know what you want, then Amazon can be a great place to get it. They have a vast range of hearing aids and accessories to chose from. You may only need a sound amplifier to boost your general hearing or may be looking for a product to help with tinnitus.

Amazon has a range of aids with prices from $/£10 up to $/£2500. If you have a particular model in mind and want to do a price comparison, then this can be the way to go. It is simple and straightforward. Just click on their site, chose what you want and buy.

Hearing Direct.

At hearing direct you can take an online hearing check as a starting point if you think you have a hearing issue. They also offer advice on how to read and understand an audiogram if you have had a full medical diagnosis. Using this information, they will then tailor an individual response to your hearing needs.

The range of hearing aids available here is virtuously limitless and they will have a price range to suit just about everyone’s pocket. They also have a vast range of hearing accessories to help with everyday use and their help and information pages are second to none. I have used hearing direct on countless occasions for advice and information and they have impressed me every time. They are pretty much a one stop shop for all hearing related issues. You can also request a free catalog online.

 

hearing aids

 

Purchasing a hearing aid is such a personal thing and it is really down to the individual as to what type they want/need, what their budget is and what type of service they require.

I have used both of the above and been very satisfied. If you require any further advice or would just like to talk to someone about hearing issues in general, then please get in touch.

Just leave a comment in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Finally, always remember, if in doubt regarding your hearing health, please seek medical advice.

Regards,

Eddie (eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com)

Related post,

FREE online hearing test.

 

Can Loud Music Cause Hearing Loss?

On the face of it, this sounds like an easy one to answer. Medical studies over many years have continuously told us that indeed loud music CAN cause hearing loss.

If so, then why is this fact almost universally ignored?

Loud music and noises are generally associated with teenagers and young adults. Whether it is blaring music in their bedrooms or through an iPod or phone with headphones in, even though everyone else can still hear their music a half a block away.

Loud music hearing loss
Loud music at home

Damage to our hearing can be done at any stage in life. Young children left in front of a blaring television for prolonged periods can suffer damage.

Adults using earphones to listen to loud music during rigorous exercise can also do damage. In fact, they can do more damage than a teenager doing the same thing.

As we get older, our hearing cells, just like the rest of our bodies, begin to degenerate. Exposure to loud music later in life is more likely to cause hearing damage because the hearing cells in someone in their 40’s won’t be as robust as they would be in a teenager.

So, FACT, Constant exposure to loud music CAN lead to hearing loss.

The question then becomes how do we combat this?

By the time someone becomes a teenager, it is almost impossible to get them to listen to matters of health. Teenagers are pretty much a species all on their own. During my teen years, I had a hearing problem. I already had two operations on my ears by the time I was 15.

Loud music
A teenage rave

 

Did I listen to the advice of the doctors? Not a chance. I blared my music as loudly as I could and to hell with the consequences. Like all my friends I thought we were indestructible and adults were only trying to suck the fun out of everything.

Simply telling people not to do something DOES NOT WORK.

With an estimated 360 million people worldwide suffering some form of hearing loss, we really should be paying more attention to prevention.

We need to put hearing care up on the same level as lifestyle issues such as good diet and exercise etc… These areas were barely spoken about 20 years ago. Now, due to the obesity epidemic in the western world, in particular, we encourage children from a very early age, to eat a balanced diet and also the importance of regular exercise.

We need to be speaking to children and parents from early school age about the importance of hearing health. No one wants to stop people listening to music or having fun. We just need to get the message across that looking after your hearing in the short term will benefit you in the long term

Think of it like this. They say it is never too late in life to begin to exercise or to eat properly. Once your hearing is gone, it’s gone.

Deaf and hard of hearing sign

Thank you for taking the time to read this piece. I hope that, at least, it has given you something to think about.

As usual, I would be delighted if you left a comment or if you wanted to get in touch in relation to anything to do with hearing health. As always, I will reply as soon as possible.

Regards,

Eddie (eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com)

Related post,

Ways to prevent hearing loss.

Geemarc Vibrating Alarm Watch

vibrating alarm watch
Geemarc watch “n” shake 10 solar watch

Product – Geemarc watch “n” shake 10 solar watch.

Price – £74.99

Best place to buy Hearing Direct

Guarantee – 2 Years

My personal rating – 9.5 out of 10.

I wear two hearing aids and when I go to bed I naturally take them out. This creates problems for both myself and the rest of the family. If I have to set an alarm to wake early, the volume has to be at full blast and even then I probably won’t hear it. It will wake the rest of the house before it wakes me.

The Geemarc vibrating alarm watch is an ingenious addition to the assistive listening market. I am now able to be awakened anytime I want without disturbing the whole family.

So how does it work?

The watch alerts the wearer with a strong vibration to the wrist. Will this really wake me I hear you ask? The answer is a resounding yes. I have been using one of these watches now for 3 months and I have never failed to wake up when the alarming vibration goes off.

You have the ability to set up to 4 different alarms. This is a great feature if you have set times during the day or night when you have to take medication, or if you have an appointment somewhere. You never have to miss any of these things again.

Other features of the Geemarc vibrating alarm watch.

As the name suggests, this watch is solar powered and comes with a rechargeable battery. The battery life has a 2-year expectancy. An optional charger is also available with this watch price £14.99.

It has an analog clock face and also an LCD digital display. The battery level can be viewed on the screen when needed.

The time can be displayed in 12/24 hour format and the digital LCD display can also show the day or date.

The watch is delivered in sleep mode to conserve the battery. It comes with full set up instructions.

vibrating alarm watch
The vibrating alarm watch

Are there any down sides?

I have given this watch a 9.5 out of 10. I am probably being over picky here. It is supposed to be water resistant to 3 bar. In reality what this means is that it is resistant to water splashes that are wiped up quickly. It is not usable for activities such as swimming.

My personal overview.

Geemarc has a long history and a wealth of experience when it comes to making products to help the hard of hearing community. There may be cheaper types of vibrating watches out there but I prefer to trust a company who specializes in products that help people like me and you.

I have found this Geemarc vibrating alarm watch to be a real problem solver for me. I can be woken whenever I want without my long suffering wife, in particular, having to be awakened also. I also use the 4 alarm feature to remind me of various appointments etc…

Apart from the beneficial aspects for those with loss of hearing, it is a very elegant looking time piece. With its stylish clock face and leather strap, it can be worn on any occasion, either casual or formal. I think it is fantastic value for money and would make a great gift idea for anyone.

 

As always, feel free to leave a comment. I will respond as soon as possible.

Regards,

Eddie (eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com)

GET THE GEEMARC VIBRATING ALARM WATCH.

(CLICK HERE)

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Amplicomms AW 500 G+L Vibrating Watch.

 

FREE Hearing Test Online.

Free hearing test
Audiology hearing test

It seems nowadays that just about everything is available online. What about hearing tests? There are plenty of companies out there offering free hearing tests online. Are they reliable? How accurate are they? Do they really stack up against a test conducted by a trained audiologist?

The Audiologist test.

A free hearing test can be carried out on the NHS if you ask your doctor to arrange one. Typically a test carried out by an audiologist will contain three elements.

Medical history.

This will revolve around a series of questions to allow the audiologist to get a better picture of your overall medical well being. Areas such as medication, problems with balance, noise in your ears (tinnitus) etc… will be covered. This lets the examiner see if there are any other factors that could be impacting on your hearing.

Physical examination of the ear.

The audiologist will want to have a look inside the ear. This quick and painless exam can allow them to see if factors such as a build up of wax, infection or drainage problems are having an effect on your hearing levels.

Actual hearing test.

This test will typically be carried out in a controlled sound booth. This booth will be set up to ensure that there are no background noises to interfere with the test. The headphones that you use will be calibrated to the audiometer that will be used to test you.

The combination of all three of the above will go to making up an extremely accurate diagnosis of your individual hearing capability. The audiology report can then be used to ensure that any hearing aids you may require will be the correct ones for your specific hearing level.

free online hearing test
A free hearing test online

The free hearing test online. (click here to take now)

The accuracy of these free online hearing tests has long been debated. I have taken dozens of these tests over many years and some have been closer to my actual hearing loss level than others.

These tests typically require you to sit at your computer or laptop or even mobile phone and listen to sounds. Various levels of other noise are introduced in the background and if you can hear the sound you are supposed to tap a key on the keyboard. There are other variations available on this theme.

They can be conducted with your own headphones or without. Some companies claim that these tests are extremely accurate whilst others say that they are only an indication that you may have a hearing loss.

Conclusion.

In my opinion, a test carried out by a fully qualified audiologist, who carries out the hearing test in a controlled environment and takes into account my medical history and does a physical exam of my ears, will always be the best option to determine the extent of my hearing loss.

However, that is not to dismiss the free hearing test online altogether.

I believe that they can have a part to play in good hearing health. Technology is getting better all the time. Some of these tests are becoming more sophisticated in nature and should lead to more accurate results in the future.

The most important role for these tests could well be that by taking one, they make people at least take notice of their hearing health. Used as an initial tool to perhaps screen for hearing loss, they will hopefully give people the encouragement to go to an audiologist and have a full and thorough hearing test done.

Take the free hearing test online.

Free hearing test
Get them tested.

Instead of rejecting and denigrating them, I would encourage anyone and everyone to have a go at a free online hearing test. My recommendation would be to then make an appointment with a qualified audiologist and have a full test carried out by the expert.

As always, I would love to hear what you have to say on this topic. Have you ever taken an online hearing test? If you want to take a free online hearing test, you can do so here.

Did the result make you seek further help from an audiologist?Would you consider taking one of these tests first rather than go to a doctor? Any comments can be left below and I will respond as usual.

Please leave a comment below if you have ever taken the online hearing test. Let others know what your experience was like (good or bad).

If you would like to take the test then just click on the link provided. It will take you to Hearing Direct.com where you can take the test for free. Please come back after and tell us about your experience.

Regards,

Eddie.

Click here and take the FREE online hearing test NOW.

 

Related post,

Ways to prevent hearing loss.

Ways To Prevent Hearing Loss. A Guide

Hearing Loss can have a very profound effect on people’s lives, yet it is something we tend to ignore until inevitably it is too late. Yet, there ARE ways to prevent hearing loss. A few simple guidelines can make all the difference.

In the workplace.

Hearing safety at work sign
Hearing protection required

The most recent health and safety executive guide state that exposure to noise levels above 105 dB (decibels) for more than 15 minutes per week can cause hearing damage.

Millions of people are exposed to loud noise in the workplace every day. All employers should have a health and safety policy and it should contain the noise levels of loud equipment. Ask your employer for this information if you think you may be at risk. For example, a chainsaw has a noise level of between 115 – 120 dB.

Hearing safety earplugs
Hearing safety plugs

If your employer doesn’t have the information on how to prevent hearing loss, then insist that they get it. This is your health after all. Make sure that that your workplace provides the proper protection necessary, i.e. ear plugs or headphones or whatever is most suitable for your particular situation.

Prevent hearing loss when playing music at home.

Loud music hearing loss
Heavy duty speakers

Whether you blast the latest tunes through a speaker or other device at home, there is a simple rule to protect your long term hearing.

It is called the 60/60 rule. This states that you keep your device at a maximum of 60% of its volume for no more than 60 minutes per day. Anything more and you run a real risk of damaging your hearing.

 

Going clubbing or to a concert/festival.

Loud music festival
Music festival

Most clubs or music venues, in general, will play music in excess of 100 dB. Do you know that if listening to music at this level for a period of 2 hours, it will take your ears approximately 16 hours to recover?

Without wanting to be a killjoy (who doesn’t love a good session?) a couple of simple steps can help prevent your hearing being overloaded. Take short breaks in a quieter zone. Go for a breath of air for a few minutes. You can also wear ear plugs that still let you hear the music but reduce the noise down a few levels.

Watching television.

Loud volume television
Watching TV

The recommended upper level of sound is 89 dB. A normal person talking will reach about 60 dB. Someone shouting can reach 80 dB.

We all tend to get carried away when watching the TV or listening to the radio and can often not notice that the volume has gone up, especially if people are also talking during a program. It is important to keep the TV or radio volume to the level of a normal conversation.

 

Good headphones.

prevent hearing loss. Headphones
Quality headphones

Most people will tend to have a set of headphones for use with their iPod or phone, especially when they are doing exercise or running etc…

It is important not to just buy the first thing you see or simply go for the cheapest or most colorful option. Take a bit of time and research the product. This is your health don’t forget. In particular, look at headphones that reduce background noise. This will allow you to hear your music more clearly at a lower volume level.

These are just a few general guidelines that will help you have good hearing health for many years to come. The better you look after your hearing now, the better it will serve you in the future.

I am sure that we have all indulged in one or more of the above at some time. I wear two hearing aids but still love my music festivals. One of the best and probably the most effective ways to prevent hearing loss is to get your hearing tested on a regular basis. If done regularly then any drop in hearing can be detected and further loss prevented.

Hearing test in progress
A hearing test

I hope you have found this helpful. As always I welcome any comments you may have or any further questions that you think I may be able to help with. Comments can be left below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Regards,

Eddie (eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com)

Related post. Read here,

Can Loud Music Cause Hearing Loss?

 

 

Hearing Accessories. Do They Work?

With the explosion of the digital age showing no signs of slowing up anytime soon, the development of hearing accessories has opened up a whole new era to millions of sufferers.

The old traditional hearing aids are a thing of the past. New technologies have created devices that allow hearing loss people to have a quality of life previously unheard of. Likewise, with other hearing accessories, there is now a multitude of items designed to make our daily lives a whole lot simpler.

Hearing Accessories.

The list is ever expanding. Whether it is something for the home such as a home induction loop system, to allow you and your family to watch television without the sound blasting out, or a personal loop system is worn discreetly around the neck to allow you to have better quality conversations, the choice is now vast.

Hearing accessories. Vibrating watch
The vibrating alarm watch

From bedside alarm systems that will not only flash a light when the alarm goes off, they also have a vibrating pad that is placed under your pillow to help wake you. This same technology is used for home telephones and door chimes. Or what about a vibrating, solar powered alarm watch? CHECK OUT MY REVIEW HERE.

The technology available for new parents with hearing loss is the best it has ever been. Baby monitoring systems with sound, video and vibrating capabilities now mean that people can do other things at home whilst ensuring the baby is safe at all times.

Baby Video Monitor.Hearing accessories
Baby Video Monitor

For the workplace, there is now a range of products to help those with hearing difficulty. From personal amplifiers for the office to loop systems for the conference room.

Do they work?

I personally have the hearing loop system at home. It is a fantastic piece of equipment. It means I can watch a television program without having the volume turned up to a level that could cause neighbors to complain.

I also have a neck loop that amplifies conversations in a one on one situation. It really does make a difference to the quality of the sound that I am getting.

My point is that the vast majority of these new advances in technology really do work to improve the hearing experience of those whose daily lives are affected by hearing loss.

Those of us with hearing loss are only held back today by our own limitations. The technology is there to allow us to be what we want to be. It is for us to embrace the opportunities that this technology affords us.

Have you used any products other than hearing aids to improve your life? Have you tried things that didn’t help? Is there something you would like to try but want another opinion first?

 

As always I would love to hear your views. You can leave a comment below and I will reply as quickly as possible.

Regards,

Eddie (eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com)

For a wide range of hearing accessories, click into Hearing Direct.com below.



Symptoms of hearing loss in children. Top 10

Spotting the symptoms of hearing loss in children can be difficult. They may not even be aware that there is anything wrong. Here are my top 10 danger signs to look for.

Hearing loss in children
The Danger Signs

Number 1.

Turning the TV up. Do you notice that your child always wants the volume up higher than the rest of the family or have they recently began to do this?

Number 2.

Saying “what.” Does your child repeatedly say what during conversations?

Number 3.

Says “I didn’t hear you.”  Numbers 2 and 3 may seem obvious but many parents simply assume that their child is not paying attention.

Number 4.

Cocks his/her ear. Do you notice if your child cocks his/her ear or cups their ear towards the tv or towards you during a conversation?

Number 5.

Ignoring you. Do you get the impression that your child is ignoring you or not paying attention to you when you are speaking to them?

Number 6.

Hear when they want to hear. Have you ever said to some else that you think your child only hears what they want to hear?

Number 7.

School suffering. Have your child’s grades suddenly dropped or have their teacher’s reports said that they are not paying attention or that they don’t respond in class?

Number 8.

Looks at you intensely. Does your child stare at you very intensely when you are speaking to them? This may be a sign that they are looking for visual clues to what you are saying.

Number 9.

Speaks louder. Do you notice that your child speaks louder than others even in one on one conversations?

Number 10.

Parental instinct. Do you just have that feeling that something doesn’t add up? That something just doesn’t seem right with your child.

Hearing loss in children
Get them tested.

You probably think that some of the above symptoms are blindingly obvious. They are!! Yet they are missed all the time. If you notice your child displaying some or all of these symptoms, please get them checked out.

It is critical to identify hearing loss in children at the earliest possible stage. The quicker it is discovered the easier it will be for the child to adopt.

As ever, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I would love to hear any feedback or comments you may have. Simply leave them below, in the box and I will get back to you as soon as possible

Regards,

Eddie (eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com)

Related post. Read here.

Children and hearing loss. My personal tale.

 

 

 

Welcome To Help With Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is very much a hidden disability. You cannot see it. Many of those who have it fail to acknowledge it.

This website is dedicated to breaking the silence and talking about the many issues that face people with hearing loss every day of their lives.

hearing loss

Millions and millions of people worldwide suffer this condition, yet they continue to ignore the real help that is available.

Only about 1/5 of people who could benefit from wearing a hearing aid actually do so. WHY? Hearing aid technology has advanced to such a stage that the ITE (in the ear) models are virtually impossible for others to see.

I still wear two BTE (behind the ear) aids and no one pays a blind bit of notice to them. So what is really preventing people whose lives could be transformed from taking that step?

These are areas that we will be discussing in detail. We will be looking at all the various types of hearing aids available. We will be looking at different price ranges. For example, we will look at affordable hearing aids for seniors. We will look at different styles suitable for children.

Hearing aids
Stylish hearing aids for children.

We will be looking at a multitude of devices and treatments that are available to help people with hearing loss and some of the associated conditions that are usually linked to it.

Tinnitus is another condition suffered by millions, yet so many continue to endure this in silence. We want to break through that wall. We want to get you discussing why you feel that you cannot seek the help that is available.

People with hearing loss can also experience balance problems stemming from vertigo. They can endure depression due to their condition which only sets them on a further downward spiral.

How do I know all this? I have been there my friend!! I have endured the loss of hearing and various other conditions for almost 42 years.

This website is dedicated to helping with all things related to hearing loss. We will tackle every and any issue you care to talk about. We will look at the very many solutions available to help people get the quality of life back that we all deserve.

Hearing loss
Let’s break the silence

I hope that you will join me on this journey. I would love it if you would share your experiences on any topic related to loss of hearing. If you don’t suffer from it yourself then perhaps you know of someone who would benefit from discussing their issues with like minded people. If so, please send them to the site at www.hearinglosshelp.co.uk

I can also be contacted by simply leaving a comment below. I will respond to all comments as soon as possible.

Regards,

Eddie

 

Related post,

Symptoms of hearing loss in children.