Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common health condition people experience today? Prioritize better hearing in the new year by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test!
Recognizing Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Over 48 million people, nearly 1 in 6, have some degree of hearing loss. Though hearing loss is pervasive, it is widely undertreated. In fact, only one third of people who could benefit from treatment actually receive it. Part of the inaction on hearing loss is ignoring or overlooking symptoms.
Hearing loss typically occurs gradually which means that people may not know they are experiencing symptoms for quite some time. Being able to recognize what hearing loss looks like can help you identify any changes you may experience to your hearing health over time. Common symptoms include:
- Tinnitus: a ringing or buzzing like noise in one or both ears.
- Sounds are muffled or distorted.
- Not being able to hear well in environments with background noise.
- Struggling to keep up during conversations.
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves, speak louder, and/or slower.
- Needing to turn up the volume on the TV and/or other electronic devices.
- Lip reading to help identify individual words.
- Hearing more clearly out of one ear compared to the other.
- Feeling fatigued after conversations and social interactions.
- Moving to quieter spaces to hear more clearly.
- Pretending to hear, feeling lost during conversations.
These symptoms can range from mild to severe, straining communication. Symptoms also affect relationships, social engagement, and overall health. Untreated hearing loss increases health risks like cognitive decline, falls, and depressive symptoms. If you recognize any of these symptoms, it is important to have your hearing assessed.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
There are effective ways hearing loss is treated. Treatment offers countless life-changing benefits including the following:
- Strengthens communication. Treating hearing loss alleviates the symptoms that make hearing and communication challenging. Without the barriers of these symptoms, people are better able to hear and engage in conversations. Treatment enables people to navigate conversations with greater focus, attention, and capacity to engage which strengthens communication.
- Improves relationships. Communication is integral to healthy relationships. Treating hearing loss enables people to have unrestricted conversations with loved ones that happen organically and smoothly. People are better able to spend quality time and participate in everyday activities with others. This supports closeness, connection, and intimacy which improves relationships.
- Boosts overall health. Extensive research shows that untreated hearing loss can contribute to increasing a number of health risks. Treatment alleviates these risks in significant ways including supporting brain health and cognitive functions which reduces the risk of cognitive decline. Also, treatment increases spatial awareness, allowing people to move through everyday environments with greater safety.
These benefits enrich everyday life, health, and relationships. Treating hearing loss allows people to live active lives that they are able to fully participate in.
Prioritize Hearing Health in the New Year
You can commit to your hearing in the new year with one simple step: scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests are conducted by a hearing healthcare specialist who is trained to comprehensively examine hearing health. This involves a painless and noninvasive process that measures hearing capacities in both ears which identifies any hearing loss you may be experiencing as well as the degree of impairment in each ear. Once your hearing needs are established, treatment can be tailored to meet your specific needs.
The most common way hearing loss is treated is with hearing aids. These are electronic hearing devices that are designed to help absorb and process speech as well as sound. This provides ample support which alleviates symptoms and makes it easier to hear. Today’s hearing aids are more exciting and innovative than ever before. There is a wide range of options, technologies, and features that are designed to make hearing as easeful and optimal as possible. Hearing aids are savvier and sleeker, seamlessly integrating into everyday life. Your hearing healthcare provider will help you navigate your options, ensuring that you select a device that is best for you.
The New Year is a great reminder to focus on your health and wellness. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation – a great way to prioritize your health.