For people struggling with disabling hearing loss, hearing aids dramatically improve the quality of many lives. While debating whether or not you could benefit from a hearing aid, today’s discussion may give you more insight. Orlando ENT Hearing Center would like to share information on four types of hearing aids and their functions. But first, let’s discuss why they are so important.

Why hearing aids make for a better life:

According to the World Health Organization, about 466 million people in the world have disabling hearing loss. 36 of those 466 million are children. Imagine not hearing music or nursery rhymes. Consider how frustrating and heartbreaking it is some babies cannot hear their parents speaking to them.

While 466 million seems like a lot, it is estimated that an astounding 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss by 2050. For some, hearing loss may be a result of genetic causes, complications at birth, or just simply by getting older. However, it is frustrating to share that about 60 percent of childhood hearing loss could have been prevented.

This makes it just that much more important to share knowledge and spread information to help prevent further disabling hearing loss. Because of entertainment and technology, many daily routines can be tweaked to prevent hearing impairment. 1.1 billion people from ages twelve to 35 years-old are at risk due to loud noises in regular recreational settings.

Have you ever been to a basketball game and noticed how loud the buzzer or the halftime music was? It is astonishing what people do for entertainment. Spread the word and fundraise for schools’ sports teams by selling foam ear plugs.

The crowd’s hearing will be protected and the teams may raise money for trips and equipment. It is also a socioeconomic issue. The majority of the population with disabling hearing loss are in low and middle income countries.

What qualifies as hearing loss:

A person at any age that cannot hear in both ears at thresholds of 25 decibels is considered to have hearing loss. Hearing loss is not the same for every patient. Patients may have mild, moderate, severe or profound hearing loss. It may also just affect one ears, and other times it can affect both ears.

About one third of people over 65 years of age affected by disabling hearing loss are located in South Asia, Asia Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Many do not know what qualifies as disabling hearing loss, so read further.In adults, hearing loss greater than 40 decibels in the better hearing ear is considered disabling hearing loss. For children, it is a hearing loss of greater than 30 decibels in the better hearing ear.

People that are “hard of hearing” usually have mild to severe hearing loss but can benefit from assistive devices to speak and hear perfectly. Assistive devices may help individuals lead to live a normal life. For other with significant hearing loss, a cochlear implant or captioning may be required to carry out conversations and other sound interactions.

How disabling hearing loss effects a person’s spirit and life:

Many children in developing countries do not receive schooling because of their disabling hearing loss or deafness. Plus, anywhere around the world, those with hearing loss have a significantly higher unemployment rate. For others that do get hired for jobs, they are among the lower grades of employment compared to the general workforce.

In order to decrease unemployment rates for people with disabling hearing loss, raising awareness amongst employers about the needs of those with hearing loss in crucial. There must be an increase in access to education and vocational rehabilitation services as well.

The feeling of being excluded starting from childhood causes psychological and emotional scars. Feeling left out over an entire lifetime is just an unfathomable impact on a person’s life. While people with setbacks feel isolated, lonely, and frustrated from their hearing loss, others with better hearing are given far better opportunities and education.

Please join us next week for assistive devices that can change the way a life can be lived. A person’t entire life path can be rerouted and improved. We hope to share more about this important topic.

Staff Writer

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