We ALL Have Hearing Loss

This sweeping statement may take some by surprise, but it’s true.  According to TheFreeDictionary.com, hearing loss is defined as “any degree of impairment of the ability to apprehend sound.”  

With every second that passes from the cradle to the grave, we all experience this progressive loss, starting with the highest frequencies.  Did you know that teenagers use this to their advantage by programming cell phone ringtones that their teachers can’t hear?  Subway stations in Europe use it too, playing annoying high-pitched frequencies that even a 22-year-old commuter can’t hear, to keep those same teenagers from loitering around the subway station when they should be in school.

Most of us live our lives, blissfully unaware of the fact that we are losing our hearing, as it may not impair our ability to hear desired sounds such as speech, music, nature, etc.  It may come as a surprise, but it is happening to all of us.  The notion of hearing loss shouldn’t separate us.  On the contrary, it should bind us together.

There are some hearing screening tests available on the Internet, on YouTube for example, that allow you to test your ability to hear high frequencies.  Put on some headphones and give this one a try (be careful to adjust the volume to a safe level).  How did you fare?  Don’t take the categories too seriously, as we are all at different stages of life.  Nonetheless, the test does prove the point that we are all losing our hearing.  Generally speaking, children hear better than middle-aged adults and middle-aged adults hear better than older adults.

If you didn’t fare well on the first test, feel free to try our online speech-in-noise test. Although not a substitute for a professional clinical screening or hearing test, if you score less than 80%, you should consider booking a free hearing test at one of our clinics.  Your hearing loss may be “official” hearing loss, by industry standards.

Hearing loss age diagram

The hearing aid industry has a slightly different definition of “hearing loss” than the dictionary. Audiological hearing loss is considered to be present when a client has at least one or more >25db thresholds on their audiogram (hearing test results).  Further, by the industry definition, a “hearing aid” is a device worn in the ear which may be adjusted by a certified professional to compensate for the measured hearing loss of the client based on their audiogram (as opposed to “hearing amplifiers”, which simply make all sounds louder).

Hearing industry definitions of “hearing loss” and “hearing aids” exist to protect the client (from inferior or even harmful devices) and the livelihood of the certified professional – both worthwhile causes.

Too often people purchase hearing aids or hearing amplifiers and are disappointed to find they don’t meet their needs or address their unique hearing challenges.  We all know someone like this.  Hearing Aid Source specializes in satisfying the previously disappointed customer.  We’re so confident in our ability to make these customers happy that we offer our free Best Price Service Plan to anyone with a hearing aid, from any clinic.

People at dinner table

Hearing loss causes us to ask our partner to speak louder or slower.  We turn up the TV when there is competing noise.  The sports fan realizes the futility of trying to communicate to a friend who may be sitting a few seats away in an arena or stadium.  The teacher has difficulty hearing an individual student in a crowded classroom.  We can all relate to these situations.  With a greater degree of hearing loss, they become even more unmanageable.

For others, too much sound is an annoyance that causes them to avoid social or noisy environments altogether.  These people have a higher-than average sensitivity to sound.  For these people, hearing well in noisy situations is tiring and can’t continue for long periods.  Are you one of these people?  There is a specific clinical test for that.

Still others, who happily enjoy noisy social situations, have above-average difficulty deciphering speech in these settings.  Yet another type of hearing loss.  Are you one of these people?  There is a specific clinical test for that.

Some people with official hearing loss feel they cope just fine without hearing aids.  I’m sure many of us have met people like these.  They usually don’t realize they are speaking too loudly or listening to the TV at a volume that is painful for other people and they miss a lot of what is said to them, often not responding when spoken to.  How can you tell if you or your loved one’s perception of their hearing is accurate? There is a specific clinical test for that.  We compare your perceived hearing loss against our measured test results, both in quiet and in noise.  The results are often surprising.

Hearing loss affects us all.  The magnitude and complexity of hearing loss considerations and solutions continues to grow more complex and confusing.  Whether now or in the future, you need a hearing clinic you can trust to systematically and carefully find the perfect solution for you.  That clinic is Hearing Aid Source.

If you would like to know the degree of your hearing loss, call us today at (416)463-4327 to schedule your FREE hearing test at one of our two convenient Toronto locations today.