With the COVID-19 global pandemic and the suggested (and at times required) use of face masks, people with hearing loss are limited in their ability to use their vision to support their hearing and communication.
Very often, spouses and life-partners will suggest that their loved one has “selective” hearing – a self-made term indicating that they can hear perfectly fine most of the time, but tend not to hear their partner speaking. Is it simply a matter of “tuning out” – or could it be something else?
Hearing loss generally happens gradually over a long period of time. Often, the subtle, and not so subtle, signs of hearing difficulty are more apparent to significant partners than it is to the person with the hearing loss.
Did you know…
Tags: Speech, Hearing Aid, Audiology, Language, Hearing Aids, Communication, Hearing, reading, literacy, Hearing Loss Prevention, Teens, Support, Caregiving, Hearing Loss, Stuttering, Learning, Voice, toddler, talking, Autism
The medical term for the perception of sound when no external sound is present is tinnitus. It is often referred to as “ringing in the ears,” although some people may hear a hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping, or clicking sound. Tinnitus may be constant or intermittent and may occur in both ears or just one.
If your child has been diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss it’s likely that hearing aids have been recommended. Hearing aids can be life-altering for your child, allowing him/her to hear sounds often miss due to hearing loss. Hearing aids that are properly fitted early on can allow your child to develop speech and language skills to reach his/her full potential.
Children learn to talk by listening to those around them. The first few years of life are a critical time for speech and language development. Children must be able to hear speech clearly in order to learn language. Fluctuating hearing loss due to repeated ear infections might mean the child doesn't hear consistently and may be missing out on critical speech information. Permanent hearing loss will also affect speech and language development, especially if it is not detected early. The earlier hearing loss is identified and treated, the more likely the child will develop speech and language skills on par with children who aren’t experiencing hearing issues.
For most people, hearing loss occurs very gradually. The process of getting hearing aids, however, is not gradual. You walk into the audiologist's office, and a few minutes later you're hearing! It takes the brain time to get adjusted to the new sounds you'll be hearing through the hearing aids. To make the adjustment process a little easier, start with easy situations and work your way up to more difficult listening environments.
Hearing loss may make conversational speech seem very soft, or may prevent a person from hearing certain speech sounds at all. This is why people with hearing loss often say they can hear people talking, but can’t understand what they’re saying. They may be able to hear some sounds, so they can hear the person’s voice, but the hearing loss is blocking out the sounds that are vital to understanding. Usually, when a person is diagnosed with a hearing loss, hearing aids are recommended. Hearing aids are designed to amplify the sounds that the person needs the most, the sounds that they are unable to hear due to the hearing loss. Unfortunately, hearing aids have limitations and will not restore hearing to normal. Hearing aids are only part of the hearing loss puzzle. The best solution to increase hearing and understanding at the same time is to pair hearing aids with effective communication strategies.