Hearing is a particularly important human sense. It makes effective communication possible in work, home and recreational settings. Therefore, the loss of hearing can greatly affect how a person lives, works and plays.
As many as 17 percent of American adults will experience some level of hearing loss at some point in their lives, making it one of the most prevalent chronic health ailments. Hearing deficiencies can be present at birth, but among adults, hearing loss often occurs over a long period of time. Since the condition is progressive, many of those affected may believe that their hearing loss is a normal part of the aging process, or initially may not even notice it at all. As a result, only about one in five individuals who might benefit from early treatment actually seek help. However, early treatment of hearing loss is important for several reasons.
Even a partial loss of hearing can have serious consequences on the ability of sufferers to socialize with others. Those who have difficulty hearing can miss important telephone calls or information given out in business meetings. The condition can lead to mistakes that can affect personal and professional relationships. It can even lead to social isolation if others begin to subconsciously ignore individuals they mistakenly believe are not listening to them or are not interested in what they are saying. Family members are often the first to detect hearing difficulties in a loved one