Welcome to the new Quality Hearing & Audiology Center Blog!  I am so excited to start sharing my knowledge with you every two weeks.  I am delighted to provide my patients and the community with information that will help understand hearing impairment better.  If you are anything like me, I only hear 20% of everything being said to me.  I hope you find my counseling blog to be helpful after or even before appointments with me.  These blogs are designed to help you understand hearing loss and empower you to be an advocate for those with hearing impairment.

This week’s hot take! (Yes, I am stealing from baseball, the best sport of the summer)

Speaking of baseball, I went to the home opener of the Kansas City Royals (Let’s Go Royals!).  During our pre-game tailgate, I was asked about warning signs of hearing loss.  This question came after the “Huh?” joke, by the way. For my first few blog posts, I am going to introduce you to hearing loss.  Who has hearing loss? What causes it? How can I spot hearing impairment? Is amplification the only type of treatment?

It is so difficult to give you statistics about hearing loss because many times it goes undiagnosed for possibly decades.  Why? Because hearing impairment happens slowly and gradually. A hearing impaired person doesn’t recognize it happens until there is an embarrassing event—during a meeting, everyone is looking at an executive wanting a response to a question that was missed, a smile and a nod in agreement when she has no idea what was asked. When I first meet an individual with hearing loss, I ask to hear the moment she recognized that she had problems with hearing.  It is usually followed by an entertaining story. My favorite entertaining hearing story involves letters.  A daughter came over to her mother’s home to pick up some letters.  Here is how the dialogue went:  “Mom, you said you had some letters here for me.” Mother replies, “Yes, it’s out in the garden.” “My letters are out in the garden?” “Yes your lettuce is out in the garden!”  Consonants are the most frequently missed sounds in the English language.  We will delve into that in another blog.

According to the World Health Organization 

  • 466 million people have disabling hearing loss (that is 5% of the population!)
  • It is estimated to grow to 900 million people by 2050.
  • 1/3 of people 65 or older have hearing impairment.
  • Nearly 15% of children ages 5-18 have hearing impairment.
  • A child with a mild hearing loss can miss up to 50% of classroom activity

And with young adults using earbuds, that number may increase and lower the age of hearing impairment!

I will leave you with one final story.  Last year, I fit a child who had hearing loss in one ear with a hearing aid.  At that time, this child was considered quite loud and unruly by the teacher because he wouldn’t follow instructions in the noisy classroom.  His mother had fought for a FM system (a device that the teacher would wear a microphone and he would wear a headset to hear the instructions clearly) to help him hear better in the classroom.  She worked to get an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for her son to no avail.  She came to me for help.  We fit the child with amplification.  He has been wearing the hearing aid for a year now and HE MADE THE HONOR ROLL!  Just one small change to his routine gave him what he needed for success.

Hearing loss effects many people.  5% of the world population has hearing impairment. There are probably millions more that don’t recognize hearing loss is affecting them. Of those 466 million people, only 20% have done something about the hearing loss. To learn more about hearing loss, click here. In future posts you will learn why it is important to do something about it sooner rather than later.

Leave a comment below regarding your funny moment that you realized you may have hearing loss.

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