On October 24, 2012, Dr. Lance Greer, Doctor of Audiology with Advanced Hearing and Balance Specialists, presented an excellent talk on the use of hearing aids. He stated that over 33 million people have a hearing loss in this country. For those over 75 years old it is one in two people. Many adults deny the disability and the average delay in seeking help following diagnosis of hearing loss is five to seven years. Putting it off can cause greater deterioration. Untreated hearing loss can cause the following:
- Social isolation
- Misdiagnosis of dementia
- Safety risks
- Higher rates of dementia
- Problems with spouses/ higher rates of divorce
The most common cause of hearing loss is nerve damage followed by conductive hearing loss or both. Deafness is a much worse misfortune than blindness as it separates you from people not things. Causes of Hearing Nerve damage are
- Diseases of the ear
- Noise exposure
- Auditory nerve tumor
- Some powerful antibiotics
A hearing aid will not return your hearing to that of a teenager but can greatly improve your quality of life. Dr. Greer noted that much progress has been made in the past several years using digital technology not only in making the devices smaller but enabling him to program the device to suit the individual patient's needs.
You can listen to an audio recording of Dr. Greer's presentation here.