Living with hearing loss

Hearing loss is not just an older person problem.

It can affect anyone from an infant to a senior citizen, and it can hit at any age.

Any type of hearing loss can drastically change how you view the world, and how others view you.

Dr. Rae McIntee says, "For kids, it can cause all kinds of developmental delays...speech delays, behavioral issues because kids can't hear. A lot of hearing loss my be fixable. There may be a medical issue that can be improved upon."

Dr. Rae McIntee says she's seen kids get diagnosed with ADD or other medical issues, when the problem was a hearing problem.

Dr. McIntee says, "If they talk funny. If they are very hypo-nasal or sound like they have a cold all the time. Nasal congestion can cause swelling of a tube in the back of the nose which can cause pressure in the ear, pulling the eardrum in, making the kids feel like they are hearing in a muffled sensation."

Dr. McIntee says there can be other problems too like large tonsils or adenoids, infections, even a tumor on the hearing nerves.

Dr. Kevin Ballard say, "With hearing, you don't know what you're missing. Most people if you have vision problems, the text on the page looks fuzzy. But with hearing, if you can't hear it you don' t know that you're missing it."

Keep in mind a hearing problem doesn't automatically mean you need a hearing aid or other such device. It could be something as easy as clearing wax out of the ear canal. Dr. Kevin Ballard offers this advice to children who think their parents may have a hearing problem.

Dr. Ballard says, "For those sons and daughters trying to get their parents in for hearing aids, first of all I would back off the argument of hearing aids. I would suggest saying let's get your hearing evaluated."

Dr. Ballad says beginning in the late teenage years, it would be a good idea for everyone to get their hearing tested once a year.

Dr. Rae McIntee also says she sees a lot of depression in older adults because they feel like they can't interact with the crowd.

Most times, she says it's a simple hearing problem that can be fixed.