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In recent years, the physical, social, and health issues that women face in their daily lives have been making headlines. Campaigns like the Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women have been extremely successful at spreading awareness of women’s health issues. However, the impact hearing health has on women’s overall health and self-esteem has gone largely unrecognized.
Healthy Hearing Is Happy Hearing
Many with hearing loss choose not to engage in social activities because the stigma associated with it is embarrassing, despite the fact that treatment is likely to improve their social lives.
According to a study by the National Council on Aging, in which 2,090 close family members or friends of the hearing impaired were asked a parallel set of questions (both before and after treatment), benefits of treatment with hearing aids were significant, offering improvements in many areas of life ranging from relationships and social life to sense of independence.
- Relations at home improved by 56% according to the user, 66% according to family and friends.
- Self-image improved by 50% according to the user, 60% according to family and friends.
- Life overall improved by 48% according to the user, 62% according to family and friends.
- Mental health improved by 36% according to the user, 39% according to family and friends.
- Social life improved by 34% according to the user, 41% according to family and friends.
- Relations at work improved by 26% according to the user, 43% according to family and friends.
Maintaining and protecting your hearing health has value beyond the ability to hear and connect with your world; it is closely related to your physical, social, and mental well-being. Knowing your body’s relationship with hearing can help you stay mindful of your overall well-being and help create a path for healthier living.
Hearing Loss in Girls
The overall prevalence of hearing loss is 10.5% for males and 6.8% for females. While males at all ages are more likely than females to be deaf or hard of hearing, the gap widens after age 18.1 Not helping these numbers, especially in millennials, is loud music. More than 12 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 19 suffer from noise-induced hearing loss — about 5.2 million kids, reports a Centers for Disease Control study appearing in the July issue of Pediatrics.
Hearing plays a critical role in girls’ cognitive, social, and emotional development. If hearing loss goes undiagnosed, serious delays can occur, and speech and ability to understand language can be affected. Early detection and intervention can minimize the negative impacts of hearing loss. Parents should seek an evaluation for their child if they exhibit any of the hearing loss indicators above or fail to meet developmental milestones.
An audiologist can work closely with doctors, educators, and speech pathologists to perform tests and implement interventions, which will vastly improve a child’s overall future development — and improve the health prospects of the future of our local community.
Tips for Women to Help Manage Your Hearing Health
1. Maintain Your Heart’s Health
The association between cardiovascular health and hearing health has never been stronger. It’s all about blood circulation throughout the body.
Circulatory problems have the ability to affect any number of bodily processes, particularly in the most delicate areas of the body — like the cochlea, the delicate inner-ear organ responsible for sending sound signals to the brain. Conditions that restrict blood supply to the cochlea can starve the inner ear of necessary oxygen and permanently damage hearing.
Cardiovascular disease causes hardening of the arteries, which affects your circulation and, in turn, could affect your hearing. The Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute believes that the link between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease is due to the inner ear’s sensitivity to circulation. The disease causes hardening of the arteries, which affects your circulation and, in turn, your hearing. If you have a history of heart disease, it is essential to have a baseline hearing evaluation to monitor changes in your hearing throughout the course of the disease.
2. Beware of Diabetes
Those with diabetes — particularly type 2 — are at a greater risk of heart disease and stroke, making them vulnerable to hearing loss. Studies show hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those without. High blood glucose levels linked with diabetes could cause damage to the small blood vessels in the inner ear. The inner ear is essential in allowing the brain to properly process sounds.
3. Manage Hypertension
High blood pressure can lead to problems in the organs affected, especially the delicate cochlea. Because of how small the cochlea is, the veins and arteries carrying blood through the cochlea are among the tiniest in the body — and therefore important to protect in order to preserve healthy hearing.
4. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Hearing health is whole-body health. A balanced diet is a great way to get all of the vitamins and nutrients listed here. If you have questions about your hearing health or more preventive measures, contact your hearing professional.
5. Quit Smoking
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, cigarette smoking was determined to be a factor in the development of hearing loss. Current smokers are 1.69 times as likely to have a hearing loss as nonsmokers, and nonsmokers who live with a smoker are more likely to have a hearing loss than those who are not exposed to secondhand smoke.
Those who smoke a pack a day for 40 years are 1.27 times as likely to have a hearing loss as those with who smoke a pack a day for 10 years.
The decision to better your hearing is life changing, but you don’t have to change your life to do it. If you are experiencing any of these conditions and need guidance or relief, or if you would simply like to know more about how to maintain your hearing health, contact us today!