The beginnings of hearing loss: React early

Hearing loss - it doesn't just happen, it's usually a gradual process over years. That is why people with hearing loss do not notice that their hearing is getting worse. When they turn up the TV or radio, keep asking questions, misunderstanding things, friends and family are often the first to notice.

Other indications that someone is suffering from a hearing loss may include: Sufferers ignore the knock on the door or the ringing of the telephone, tire quickly during long conversations, look increasingly at the lips of the other person or move closer in order to be able to hear better. Many also react irritably because they don't hear everything.

Dealing with hearing loss
"In the beginning, hearing impaired people can still follow conversations with a person. But if there are background noises or many people are talking, they can no longer participate in the conversation," explains Dr. Michael Deeg from the professional association of ear, nose and throat doctors.

Instead of facing the problem and going for a hearing test, some are firmly convinced that the others only have to speak more clearly and louder. In his practice, Dr. Deeg finds that many patients come to him too late and that he has to diagnose an advanced level of hearing loss.

His advice: Even if it is difficult for relatives, they should be tolerant, but still try to persuade the partner or family member to take a hearing test. Offer yourself as a companion!

Holding back has consequences 
Waiting too long to treat hearing loss has serious consequences. The sense of hearing begins to die quickly because of a hearing loss. If the nerve cells concerned are no longer stimulated enough in the brain, this also affects the processing of the stimuli in the long term.

It will take longer to get used to the hearing aid: "Even if the person affected gets a hearing aid, he can hear the volume again, but speech understanding has usually suffered," says Dr. Deeg.

Despite the hearing aid, the brain does not change spontaneously. "Those affected perceive noise with a hearing aid as particularly loud and are reluctant and rarely wear it," reports Dr. Deeg. And that reinforces the negative spiral.

Advice on the selection of hearing aids
On the other hand, if a hearing aid is worn early and regularly, speech intelligibility can be maintained at almost 100 percent or will slowly improve. "Ideally, you should wear it all day," advises the ENT doctor. Daily use of just six hours shows positive effects.

Fear and constraint
In total, there are estimates of around 15 million hearing aid wearers in North America. The average age has dropped from 74 by more than five years in the past ten years. Nevertheless, there are still 6.9 million people affected who have not used hearing aids so far - even though they need one.

In addition to the fear of stigmatization, a different, completely human feeling also plays a role for many. In surveys, both the technicians and health insurance companies identified constraints as one of the reasons why people are repressing their problem.

Although hearing aids are now high-performance mini computers and smart companions with a variety of functions that go far beyond good hearing.

Contact EarAid Hearing Centre
"People often regret that they did not opt ​​for the hearing aid earlier because it gives them back a significant amount of quality of life," reports Tarek El Rifai.