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Quality of life in individuals with hearing Impairment


Do you often find yourself in a situation where you aren’t able to enjoy a conversation or you ask people to repeat themselves? Is your 50th birth anniversary just around the corner? If the answer is ‘YES!’ for all the above questions maybe you are suffering from age related hearing loss. Hearing loss that occurs gradually due to age is common and the most neglected issue.


Hearing loss is the loss of hearing in one or both ears, ranging from mild to profound. There are many causes, and it can affect anyone at any age, but it's most common among people older than 50. Over 5% of the world’s population – or 430 million people – require rehabilitation to address their ‘disabling’ hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children) according to WHO.


Our ears are divided into three parts,

· Outer ear

· Middle ear

· Inner ear



Based on the part that is affected, hearing loss is classified into three types

· Conductive Hearing Loss

· Sensorineural Hearing Loss

· Mixed Hearing Loss.


CONDUCTIVE HEARING LOSS


An infection or blockage in the outer or the middle ear that causes hearing loss is called conductive hearing loss. Hearing loss in such case is temporary in nature if treated at the right time.



SENSORINEURAL HEARING LOSS


This is caused due to an issue in the inner ear where the tiny hair cells present inside the inner ear aren’t functioning at its best. This is permanent in nature and mostly this is treated by the use of amplification devices.


MIXED HEARING LOSS


This occurs when a person has both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.


Certain conditions, including age, illness, and genetics, may play a role in hearing loss. Modern life has added a host of ear-damaging elements to the list, including some medications and many sources of loud, ongoing noise. Hearing Loss increases with age, mostly because of age-related Hearing Loss, generally referred to as presbycusis. Even though most people with hearing loss suffer from presbycusis, other factors such as other ear diseases occupational noise exposure and specific genetic diseases may also cause hearing loss. Thus, hearing loss may affect people at all ages and stages in life.


Hearing loss directly impacts quality of life and relationships with people around you. People with hearing loss have trouble following conversation when 2-3 people talk simultaneously. They do not understand what the person is speaking because their ability to understand speech is affected. They often misunderstand and respond inappropriately. Eventually leading to frustration and social isolation and loss of self-esteem. Due to this their interaction with other members in the family reduces and they develop loneliness, depression, anxiety, and embarrassment.

Untreated hearing loss can also lead to cognitive decline and cause dementia, confusion, distracting thoughts etc. Studies show association between hearing loss and reduced quality of life. Hearing loss also affects personal and work life of a person. Inability to communicate adequately in the presence of background noise will hamper their quality of work at workplace which eventually affects their productivity leading to reduced confidence. Stress is another inevitable consequence of allowing hearing loss problems to go untreated in work settings, and this can lead to all kinds of secondary health issues.


Hearing loss associated issues can be alleviated by using the right amplification device. Timely management and use of aids or amplification devices help in improving quality of life.

Regular hearing testing could also help in monitoring the hearing levels and to choose the appropriate device. There are different options available and based on the condition an Audiologist can suggest which one to go for.

Hearing aids, Bone anchored hearing implants, Cochlear Implant and Auditory Brainstem Implants are the option available catering to different types of hearing loss.


BANGALORE HEARING & IMPLANT INSTITUTE brings together a multidisciplinary team of ENT surgeons, audiologists, speech and language pathologists, and other supporting staff who provide unparalleled, individually tailored treatment for all types of hearing, speech, voice, and language disorders. This coupled with advanced technology, modern infrastructure, internationally certified consultants, and a host of other qualities makes Bangalore Hearing & Implant Institute a provider of holistic solutions to all the hearing, speech, voice, and language disorders.

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