Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss: A Worker’s Nightmare

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Hearing Loss

Tinnitus Types

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Hearing Loss

Do I have mixed hearing loss?

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Hearing Loss: A Worker’s Nightmare

Hearing loss in the workplace is not only frustrating for the employee who suffers from the debilitating condition, but also for all that person’s unassuming co-workers. Let’s face it: being in a fast paced workplace is stressful on its own! Add in hearing loss (whether your own or an office mate’s) and that stress can lead to large amounts of anxiety and strained times on the job.

“No one in my office has hearing loss! They just don’t want to do work!”

In an EPIC Hearing Healthcare study…

• 40% of employees said they have had to pretend that they heard something a co-worker has stated.
• 42% of employees said they often experience miscommunication between others at work.
• 57% of employees said they frequently have to strain to hear a conversation due to background noise.
• 61% of employees have had to ask a co-worker to repeat themselves while in conversation.
• Out of 2000 workers surveyed by EPIC Hearing Healthcare, 95% said that untreated hearing loss has a negative impact on their job.

2,000 workers were surveyed in this study and their overall finding was staggering! 95% of those workers said that untreated hearing loss has had a negative impact on their job. Whether it was their own loss or that of a co-worker, the result was detrimental to their experience on the job.

“95%! What can I do?”

Treating hearing loss means a world of a difference in all aspects of your life. But the benefits can be very rewarding while on the job. All too often, people speak over each other or mumble in office discussions which makes it hard to always hear and comprehend. For those who may even have mild hearing loss, this can be a burden that could be avoided.

Treating your hearing loss (even in the slightest) can mean better job performance, leading to an overall improvement in happiness. The results may also improve production in the work place. Who knew that getting your ears checked could make your boss smile? But new research suggests that miscommunication is one of the largest factors in profit-and-loss in the workplace. So, that smile is just one result of you taking care of you auditory health. Increase your chances of being a top performer at work by improving your communication skills!

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Tinnitus Types

There are two clinically differentiated types of tinnitus: subjective tinnitus and objective tinnitus. Out of all of the tinnitus cases reported, 99% of those cases fall within the subjective tinnitus category, making subjective tinnitus the more common of the two types.

What is subjective tinnitus?

Subjective tinnitus is defined as perceiving sound when there is no acoustic source present. In the absence of any auditory stimuli, a person experiencing subjective tinnitus may hear a diverse range of sounds – from a ringing to a whistling to a buzzing – either in one ear or both ears. Due to the fact that there is no acoustic source, subjective tinnitus can only be heard by the person perceiving the sound.

Within the subjective tinnitus type, there are two additional categories – primary and secondary tinnitus. Primary tinnitus occurs more frequently and is characterized as tinnitus that is a result of hearing loss or accompanied by hearing loss. Secondary tinnitus is provoked by a specific cause that is unrelated to hearing loss or auditory issues, such as certain medications or underlying medical conditions.

Understanding objective tinnitus

Objective tinnitus is defined as the perception of sounds that are caused by internal structures. Because the sound is actually being generated by an acoustic source, a doctor or hearing care specialist is able to hear what the patient is hearing by inserting a small microphone into the ear canal or placing a stethoscope or other listening device on the patient’s neck or surrounding area.

Problems in a person’s cardiovascular and circulatory systems are generally the cause of objective tinnitus. Irregularities in the passage of blood flowing through arteries and veins in the head or neck may result in discernible thumping or whooshing noises. Muscle spasms and structural problems within the inner ear and brain may also cause objective tinnitus.

Pulsatile tinnitus: a certain type of objective tinnitus

A specific form of objective tinnitus is pulsatile tinnitus – the perception of pulsing noises that sound similar to a heartbeat. This rhythmic throbbing can often be heard in time with a person’s actual pulse and is generally symptomatic of cardiovascular issues.

If you or someone you love is experiencing tinnitus-like symptoms, the first step is to speak with a hearing care specialist and have an assessment*. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.

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Do I have mixed hearing loss?

Mixed hearing loss means having both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss in the same ear or ears. Mixed hearing loss occurs when the outer or middle ear can’t transmit sound properly to the inner ear. Additionally, the individual’s cochlea, auditory nerve or other inner ear structures that are responsible for interpreting sound and relaying it to the brain exhibit some degree of dysfunction. Mixed hearing loss results from numerous and diverse causes from both sensorineural and conductive loss.

Examples of how this occurs

Patient One frequently attends loud concerts and subsequently develops noise-induced hearing loss. She subsequently develops an ear infection. Patient Two experiences natural, age-related hearing loss. He then experiences a trauma that perforates his eardrum. Both people exemplify this condition.

How a combination of sensorineural and conductive losses impact hearing

Impairment ranges from slight to profound. Conductive hearing loss makes it difficult to understand speech. Sufferers have trouble picking up softer sounds, especially with competing background noises. If the individual has mostly sensorineural hearing loss, speech and other sounds may seem distorted. So even if the volume is loud enough, the individual may struggle deciphering words.

Treatment options

Some types of conductive hearing loss need an ENT specialist to treat the conductive component first. Afterwards a hearing care specialist will address the sensorineural hearing loss. This may include fitting with hearing aids.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Mixed Hearing Loss?

If you or someone you love is experiencing hearing loss or other hearing-related symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a licensed specialist who can properly assess* your needs. We welcome you to make an appointment today.

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Untreated hearing loss and its consequences

Your hearing is important. So, what are you waiting for?

The sooner you take action on hearing loss, the sooner you begin to regain sharpness, confidence and control. Now is the time to end the negative effects of the hearing loss, such as:

  • Dulling of the senses—When you can’t hear what’s going on around you, you lose mental agility. Due to this reduction in aural stimulation over time, your brain’s ability to process sound and recognize speech is impaired. Therefore, the brain doesn’t get the practice that it needs.
  • Mental decline—Research consistently demonstrates the considerable effects that hearing loss has on social, psychological and cognitive performance. Also, it can lead to cognitive decline and dementia.
  • Social isolation—Because conversations are taxing when you struggle to hear, an untreated hearing loss results in a decline in socializing. This can lead to isolation and depression.

The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you feel the improvement

You don’t need to struggle with your hearing. Especially if you or a loved one is experiencing these effects:

  • Insecurity because you can’t hear where sounds come from
  • Loneliness and depression
  • Fatigue and needing to rest after work or social functions
  • Challenges remembering what people say in meetings or social gatherings
  • Difficulties picking out individual conversations when at gatherings with several other people
  • Decreased quality of life

Remember: Hearing loss affects not only the sufferer but also the sufferer’s family, colleagues and friends. That’s why it’s important to seek help if you notice signs of hearing loss in yourself or in a loved one.

Our hearing care experts stand ready to help

If your vision were bothering you, wouldn’t you see the optician? If you had a tooth problem, you would go to the dentist. Don’t let misunderstandings about your hearing prevent you from seeing a hearing care specialist. The team at Whisper Hearing Center is happy to walk you through the process to regaining control and improving your quality of life. So make an appointment* today.

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