Hearing loss is vastly underrated and misunderstood in society. I almost feel duty bound to have to explain my own particular condition and level of hearing loss whenever I meet someone new.
So, for those of you who love their facts and figures these should get you thinking.
According to the World Health Organisation there are approximately 360 million people in the world today who have a disabling hearing loss. A disabling hearing loss is someone who has a hearing loss greater than 40 dB (decibels) in the better hearing ear. This figure is for adults. For children the figure is hearing loss greater than 32 dB (decibels) in the better hearing ear.
Those figures are for what is referred to a disabling hearing loss. Many many more people can have some form of hearing loss at a lower level but still be affected to some degree. People with a hearing loss greater than 25 dB (decibels) in the better hearing ear will usually have problems hearing in noisy environments and social situations.
Hearing loss is usually broken down into 4 main categories. I will cover these categories separately in various blogs and posts in future but for now they are.
Mild. Moderate. Severe. Profund.
There are many and varied causes of hearing loss. They are usually broken down into two main categories
These causes are generally present before or shortly after birth. They can be hereditary or caused by a range of complications during pregnancy and birth.
These causes can occur at anytime throughout a persons life, such a contracting certain diseases can lead to hearing loss, as well as accidents or exposure to loud noises over a period of time.
The other and most common cause of hearing loss is simply age. This occurs due to the degeneration of the sensory cells over time. According to the World Health Organisation approximately 1/3 of people over the age of 65 have disabling hearing loss.
Hearing loss for lots of people is also associated with a variety of other health conditions. Tinnitus and balance/vertigo are the more common ones. Recent studies are now finding links to conditions such as depression and others. Again we will be covering these links in other posts.
In the UK alone there are aproximately 6.7 million people who would benefit from wearing a hearing aid, yet only 2 million actually use them. This is a worldwide trend. Quite a disturbing figure.
The advances in technology have developed hearing aids beyond recognition over the last 20 years. The variety is absolutely huge. Not just hearing aids but the variety of assistive devices out there can be very confusing for lots of people. This website will be looking at a variety of devices and aids to get an idea of the range available and how they can help.
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