Hearing loss - not me ?!
Introversion or shyness are not always the reason when people withdraw. A difficult, yes, an extremely sensitive subject. And unfortunately still a taboo for many. "Hearing problems? No, at most a bit too much for the proverbial ears. "And also:
"Even if you do, you can't do anything anyway, hearing aids only make noise and sooner or later you have to put them aside because of that." You probably know that yourself from stories ... And yet: simply living with the (hearing) problem, taking it for granted, is also not a solution.
Deafness among TOP 6 in industrialized countries
Those affected themselves often do not notice at first that their hearing is dwindling. This is due to the process, which usually begins insidiously, combined with a certain "habit factor". It is often relatives or colleagues in the immediate vicinity who are the first to notice the hearing loss.
Contrary to the belief of many people, hereditary hearing loss only affects a few percent of those affected. Usually it is acquired. Everyday noise pollution plays a central role here. It is now very high and means that hearing impairment is one of the six most common diseases in industrialized countries.
When do we speak of hearing loss?
Hearing acoustics essentially differentiate between three types of hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss is when the sound is no longer transmitted properly in the outer or middle ear - a type that can often be treated. The sensorineural hearing loss can occur in the inner ear as well as during sound processing. In the inner ear, it is considered to be the main cause of hearing loss and is due to damage to the hair cells.
If the damage affects the outer hair cells, signal amplification is no longer possible; an irreversible picture that can be compensated for by hearing aids. If the inner hair cells are affected, however, the transmission to the hearing process is disturbed, so-called dead regions arise. Fewer signals are passed on to the brain, the network adapts and the degree of neural branching is reduced. As a result, the ability to hear selectively is increasingly lost. This process is reversible and can be counteracted with the help of qualified hearing therapy.
Hearing = ear and brain
When hearing, everyone thinks of their ears, i.e. the visible part of the human hearing process. Hearing encompasses much more than just this externally visible part. The human ear consists of the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. The sound hits the outer ear, is received there, amplified and passed on to the middle ear. The transition from the outer to the middle ear occurs via the eardrum. When the incoming sound hits, it starts to vibrate. The resulting vibrations are transmitted to the three smallest human bones, hammer, anvil and stapes.
They represent the connection between the outer and inner ear and ensure the mechanical transmission of vibrations to the inner ear. During this process, the signal is amplified by up to 100 times. The cochlea is the central element of the hearing in the inner ear. There, a renewed amplification of up to 1000 times takes place via the outer hair cells. The mechanical stimuli are converted into electrical signals via the inner hair cells and subsequent nerve cells. The auditory nerve forwards this to the processing brain.
Loud alone is not enough
Although the inner ear and hair cells amplify the acoustic signals to a large extent, a mere increase in the signal volume is usually neither helpful nor sustainable in the case of hearing loss. After the noises from the environment have been picked up, the brain first filters all tones and separates the essential from the non-essential. In this way we can follow conversations without being distracted by background noise or perceiving the large number of incoming impulses as noise.
In the case of hearing loss, not all of the noises reach the hearing filter in the brain. The result: it breaks down, loses its efficiency and thus its filter function. Hearing aids amplify the incoming tones, which then reach the hearing filter again. However, this can no longer handle the large flood of sound impulses, so that all impulses are passed on to the brain without being filtered. The consequence: noise perception. And the supposed "culprit" hearing aid is better put aside.
Hearing can be trained
Targeted hearing therapy prevents hearing aids from being taken off because of noise. Their goal: to reactivate the hearing filters so that important tones can be separated from unimportant noises.
The positive hearing effect occurs after just a few days, (listening) is easier - including meetings, radio or chatting with colleagues.
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