When a person has problems seeing or walking it is obvious and most people make allowances for the person who has such disabilities. When a person is hearing impaired it is less obvious. Often the person with a hearing deficit seems to not be paying attention or to be ignoring the conversation.
Hearing loss is common for people over the age of sixty-four (64) and often progresses for a decade or more. In America, it affects more than 48 million people and is more common than either diabetes or cancer.
Hearing loss can be acute from head trauma and illnesses such as infection. More likely, however, the cause is exposure to prolonged loud noises, an illness such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure. Genetics can play a factor and some medications can contribute to hearing loss.
Treatment may include surgery, medication or cochlear implants (for younger patients) but is more likely to require hearing aids. Hearing aids come in various styles and the cost may range from around two to seven thousand dollars. This is a good reason to shop around and do serious research before investing in aids. It also helps to have realistic expectations for hearing aids. They amplify sounds. They do not restore normal hearing. Hearing aids take time and patience to learn how best to use them.
It also helps if family and friends understand that they can assist the hearing impaired by 1. Getting their attention prior to speaking, 2. Making sure they are positioned so that their lips can be seen and 3. Speaking clearly, but not shouting. Most people with hearing loss are particularly impaired when there is more than one person speaking at once.
Sounds and therefore hearing are measured in decibels. A hearing loss of thirty decibels or more is considered significant. The sounds in our environment can be measured in decibels.
You can measure decibels easily by using a smartphone app. Restaurants are notoriously noisy and knowing the decibel level can be helpful in choosing which to patronize. I use VenueDB on my iPhone, but there are several for both Android and IOS phones. https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/47805-The-best-phone-apps-to-measure-noise-levels I recently measured one of my favorite restaurants at eighty-two (82) decibels. That can be appreciated by knowing that a lawn mower registers around 90.
NOTE: some information contained herein obtained from WebMD.
“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” Joseph B. Wirthlin