WHO predicts that in just 30 years, nearly a billion people on Earth will have severe hearing loss. In this case, half of cases of hearing loss can be prevented.
What is perfect hearing?
The ideal hearing level is measured from zero to 25 decibels. The upper limit of the norm (25 dB) is something between the rustle of falling leaves and the ticking of a clock. If these sounds are inaccessible to the ear, then, strictly speaking, it is considered a hearing loss. You can test yourself this fall.
Degrees of hearing loss
Hearing loss can be mild, moderate, moderate to severe, and severe. The inability to distinguish between loud sounds, even with hearing aids, is considered profound hearing loss, or deafness. The easiest way to explain this is in pictures.
This is what perfect hearing looks like. The sound of a dripping tap, birds singing, a dog barking and a phone ringing are all part of life:
This is an image of profound hearing loss. A deaf person can hardly distinguish the sound of a car driving and the hum of airplane turbines overhead. Nature and the surrounding city are dumb for him:
How to determine the degree of hearing loss?
Ideally, audiometry is done to test your hearing. The audiologist determines the bone and air perception of sounds, and records how many decibels a person can distinguish.
If you do not go into numbers, then you can roughly estimate hearing problems at home:
Mild hearing loss: It is difficult to hear soft sounds and make out speech among noise.
Moderate: Difficulty engaging in normal tete-a-tete dialogue and distinguishing sounds of moderate volume.
Moderate to severe: only a raised voice is heard, and conversation in a group of people becomes an almost insurmountable obstacle.
Severe degree or deafness: distinguishing words is obtained only by lips or with the help of gestures.
“Show me” instead of “tell”
In the case of complete deafness, unfortunately, neither implants nor other hearing devices help. The only way to get information other than reading is through gestures.
Sign language, contrary to stereotypes, is not a copy of “ordinary” speech. Finger movements, body movements, facial expressions do not denote the letters of the “sounding” language, but independent word forms. It’s like an exotic adverb, in which neither sounds nor words are similar to those we know.
Sign languages can differ from each other, so a deaf American may well not understand a German. The idea of using movement for teaching and speaking dates back to the 18th century in France. But the generally accepted international system of gestures – Zhestuno – was created only in 1975.
How to keep hearing before it’s too late
More than a billion people from 12 to 35 years old risk their ears due to exposure to noise. In this regard, we need hearing hygiene no less than the oral hygiene to which we are accustomed.
Here are some ways to protect your ears:
Use earplugs in the office, in noisy places, or when walking in a big city. There are soundproof or noise canceling earplugs that allow you to hear, but lower the volume of what is happening.
Never crank up the playlist sound to the max. Instead, look for good headphones that can reduce background noise and listen to your music quieter. In any case, you shouldn’t use more than 60% of the maximum possible volume.
Give your ears a break from sounds.
Protect your ears from moisture and infections.