Contrary to common opinion, hearing loss is not necessarily manifested as experiencing sounds as not being loud enough. Hearing impairments involve clarity, as well as loudness. In most instances, hearing loss manifests itself first as a difficulty to hear high pitch sounds. People that suffer from a mild hearing loss condition will often complain that they cannot hear people clearly or that they do not speak loud enough.
Defining Mild Hearing Loss
Technically, mild hearing loss is defined as an impairment that damages the ability to hear clearly the 26 to 40 dB speech frequencies.
The main problem with mild hearing loss is that most people tend to ignore it and think about it as manageable. Unfortunately, untreated mild hearing loss can lead to steady deterioration process.
Untreated Mild Hearing Loss
A person with untreated mild hearing loss can actually miss up to forty percent of all speech sounds around him. Suffering from mild hearing loss can be likened to having foam earplugs constantly stuck in your ears. People with mild hearing impairments may also find it difficult to suppress background noises when they are trying to hear someone speak.
Those around you are sometimes likely to notice that you may suffer from mild hearing loss even before you do. They will notice that the television is louder when you are watching it and that you ask them to constantly repeat what they are saying, telling them that they should speak more clearly or raise their voices.
Most people that suffer from mild hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. While hearing aids can be of great benefit, it is important to understand that they do not cause the ear to hear clearly, this is something that has to do with the condition of the inner ear. Hearing aids make the speech that people with mild hearing condition hear appear clearer simply because the person wearing them receives more high pitched sound information, information that would be inaudible without them.
There are also amplification devices which can actually assist persons with mild hearing loss to use televisions and telephones without turning up their volumes. Like with all hearing issues, early recognition and treatment will be extremely helpful in preventing further deterioration. A professional audiologist will be able to diagnose and fit people with mild hearing loss with the proper hearing aids, if and when such hearing aids are necessary.
Tom Regev is a professional writer for the Hearing Life in Gadsden AL clinic.