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It is common to set goals and intentions for the new year. People often use this time to practice new habits and prioritize their health. A great and simple way you can do this is by committing to improving your hearing health. Nearly 1 in 6 people have some degree of hearing loss which impacts over 48 million people. A useful way to monitor your hearing health and address any symptoms you may experience over time is by having your hearing evaluated regularly. You can start this practice by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test in the new year!
Identifying Hearing Loss Symptoms
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 reason why is that hearing loss typically develops slowly so symptoms can be overlooked for quite some time. Being able to recognize symptoms can help you intervene early which can protect the hearing you do have. Common symptoms include:
- Tinnitus: a ringing or buzzing noise in one or both ears.
- Sounds are slurred or muffled.
- Difficulty hearing in environments with background noise.
- Struggling to follow conversations.
- Pretending to hear to get through a conversation.
- Frequently responding with “huh” or “what”.
- Asking others to repeat themselves, speak louder, and/or slower.
- Lip reading to help identify individual words.
- Increasing the volume on the TV and/or other electronic devices.
- Being able to hear more clearly out of one ear compared to the other.
- Needing to move to a quieter space to hear.
These symptoms can be mild to more severe depending on the degree of hearing loss present. Symptoms strain communication and make it challenging to navigate conversations. This often leads to social withdrawal as a way to avoid communication. If left untreated, this can affect relationships, social life, as well as increase health risks.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Fortunately, hearing loss is treatable. There are effective hearing solutions that not only transform hearing health but quality of life. Key benefits of treatment include:
- Health Benefits: extensive research shows that untreated hearing loss increases a number of health risks. This includes cognitive decline, falls, and depressive symptoms. Treating hearing loss alleviates these risks in major ways. Studies show that treatment can strengthen brain health, reducing the risk of cognitive decline and boosting cognitive health. Treatment also makes it easier to hear and maximizes hearing capacity which allows people to be more aware of their environment, increasing spatial awareness and reducing the risk of accidental injuries and falls. Treating hearing loss also improves relationships and social connection which supports mental health and wellness.
- Relationship Benefits: communication is integral to relationships. Treating hearing loss strengthens communication by increasing hearing capacity and ability to engage in conversations. This allows people to spend quality time with others and engage in everyday activities with greater ease. It also prevents social withdrawal and isolation which are common effects of untreated hearing loss. Rather, treatment encourages social engagement and provides ample support that enables people to fully participate in conversations. This improves relationships and social connection.
- Financial Benefits: Studies show that people with untreated hearing loss can earn less income than people without hearing loss. This is due to the effect symptoms can have on communication and navigating the workplace successfully. Treating hearing loss can alleviate this by supporting hearing health and communication which is needed for job performance and stability. Studies also show that untreated symptoms can contribute to greater hospital readmission and accidental injuries which increase healthcare costs. Treatment can prevent these risks by making effective communication with healthcare providers more possible as well as increasing spatial awareness and safety, preventing accidental injuries.
These benefits are among many which can improve health, wellness, and quality of life. Treating hearing loss allows people to live full and active lives.
Prioritize Better Hearing in the New Year
Schedule an appointment for a hearing test in the new year. Having your hearing comprehensively evaluated is painless and is the first step towards accessing the life changing benefits of treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!