Hearing loss is not merely a modern disorder, but has been an issue for humans throughout history. The history of hearing aids begins several hundred years ago, and has an interesting path, leading us to our high tech hearing aids in 2016.
In 1961 mathematician Edward Lorenz wondered, “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” This idea resonates with people because we all know that seemingly insignificant actions can often trigger much larger reactions. When it comes to hearing loss, ...
Myths and misinformation abound about hearing loss. Whether you think that hearing loss is a normal part of aging, or that hearing aids will not work for you, knowing the truth about both enables you to make the smartest choice for your quality of life.
Whether it is the music blaring from your headphones or the surround sound in your neighborhood movie theater, loud noises are becoming increasingly commonplace in your everyday world. With loud noise becoming the norm, it is easy to underestimate the toll it can take on your ears and your hearing. Knowing how loud is too loud can both help you recognize the warning signs of hearing loss and prevent hearing loss.
Hearing is an important part of our daily lives. Whether we use it in our workplace, or with our family members at the dinner table, or with our friends, hearing colors every part of our lives. If you find that you have hearing loss, whether it is a slow deterioration or a sudden loss, you may notice some negative emotional and social impacts.
When you think about hearing loss, what comes to mind? Do you think of an old, grumpy man complaining that, “Kids these days are always mumbling?” Or a little, old lady sitting in front of the TV with the volume blaring? While these may be accurate (and dramatic) pictures of more advanced hearing loss, the reality is that hearing loss can be much more subtle than this.
In science, a small or minute cause having rippling large effects is known as the butterfly effect. In theory, it means that the movement of a butterfly’s wings can cause a disturbance in the air sufficient to ultimately change a weather pattern or event. This part of the chaos theory can still be debated in scientific communities, but the butterfly effect can absolutely be true in certain circumstances. An example is with hearing loss. While untreated hearing loss may only affect one person in a family or a group, its effects ripple far beyond that single person.
Hearing loss often happens so gradually that people do not even realize that they are hearing fewer sounds. Crickets stop their summertime chirping. High heels stop clicking on tile floors. Voices sound faraway on the phone. Television shows become impossible to follow. Conversations require more repeating of words, and are often exhausting. By the time someone notices their hearing loss, they may have lived with it for so long that seeking treatment can be a challenge. People often put off getting help for hearing loss for several reasons.
Over 48 million Americans struggle with minor to severe hearing loss. What do these millions of people complain about the most? Not being able to hear in restaurants. Dining out plays an important role in our culture. Whether it’s celebrating a friend’s birthday, taking a loved one on a special date, or meeting a colleague to discuss business – being able to enjoy (and hear) a conversation at a restaurant is essential for most of us.
If you start to find yourself constantly wondering why people don’t speak clearly anymore, you may be experiencing mild hearing loss. Don’t panic. It’s very common and, if you act now, you may be able to prevent some of the serious side effects that untreated hearing loss can cause.
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