Hidden Hearing Loss: What You Need to Know
Hidden Hearing Loss: What You Need to Know?
Hearing loss is often associated with aging, noise exposure, or underlying medical conditions. However, there's a lesser-known type of hearing loss that can occur without exhibiting the typical signs. It's called "hidden hearing loss." In this blog, we will explore what hidden hearing loss is, its causes, and effective ways to prevent it.
Unveiling Hidden Hearing Loss
You may assume your hearing is intact because standard hearing tests show no abnormalities. However, hidden hearing loss challenges this assumption. It's a condition where the ability to hear soft sounds is unimpaired, but the capacity to understand speech in noisy environments is compromised.
Hidden hearing loss can manifest due to noise exposure. For instance, attending a loud concert might result in temporary ringing in the ears. While you may feel fine the next day, the connections to auditory nerve fibers can be permanently damaged.
This phenomenon contradicts previous beliefs that noise-induced hearing issues are temporary. Instead, hidden hearing loss can persist and impact our ability to discern speech and sounds in noisy settings.
The Prevalence of Hidden Hearing Loss:
Hearing loss is a prevalent concern in the United States, affecting an estimated one in eight adults over the age of 18. Surprisingly, hidden hearing loss is more common than once believed. Recent studies suggest that approximately one in ten people with normal audiogram results may suffer from hidden hearing loss.
The discrepancy lies in the audiogram, the gold standard for hearing tests. While it effectively assesses sensitivity to soft sounds in quiet environments, it overlooks the ability to comprehend speech amidst background noise. This critical aspect of hearing, particularly in challenging situations like a crowded party or a noisy restaurant, is not adequately measured by traditional hearing tests.
Impacts of Hidden Hearing Loss:
Hidden hearing loss affects our ability to engage in " listening," where we focus on one conversation while numerous other discussions occur in the background. People with normal hearing can navigate this soundscape effortlessly. However, as auditory nerve fibers diminish due to aging or noise exposure, this becomes increasingly challenging.
Preventing Hidden Hearing Loss:
Preventing hidden hearing loss involves taking proactive measures to safeguard your hearing:
1. Control Volume: Protect your ears by setting the lowest volume on your TV, speakers, or headphones while still being able to hear comfortably.
2. Use Protective Gear: When using loud power tools or yard equipment, wear protective earmuffs to shield your ears from potentially damaging noise levels.
3. Invest in Earplugs: Special earplugs designed for concerts or sporting events are available at an affordable price, starting from around $20. These earplugs reduce sound intensity while allowing you to hear the music or game.
4. Maintain Distance: At events or in situations where loud sounds are prevalent, try to position yourself away from the primary sources of noise.
Hidden hearing loss challenges the conventional understanding of hearing issues. It can persist even when standard hearing tests show no signs of impairment. As a result, your ability to understand speech in noisy environments may deteriorate without you realizing it.
To protect your hearing, take proactive steps, such as controlling volume levels, using protective gear, investing in earplugs, and distancing yourself from loud sounds. By being vigilant and addressing hidden hearing loss, you can continue to enjoy the richness of sounds and conversations in your everyday life without the hindrance of background noise. For more information visit www.aanviihearing.com or call us at 96 5839 5839