Latest posts by Dr. Jason Leyendecker (see all)
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Do you get your ears checked often? Like many people, it may not cross your mind at all. However, when you are having trouble hearing during conversation or experiencing pain or discomfort in your ears, then it is certainly time to see a hearing health care professional.
As you begin to put some resolutions for the new year into practice, factor in your hearing health as you pledge to take better care of yourself. Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It does not take much thought to seek help when there is a problem, but how can we be better at practicing prevention before a problem arises?
Baseline Hearing Test
For many adults the last time they had their hearing checked was in grade school. If that is the case for you, there is no better time than the present to have your hearing checked! It is recommended to have your hearing at least once after reaching 21 years of age.
It is easy to fold a hearing exam into your annual checkup. A baseline hearing test will inform you of where your hearing is at that point. It is a quick pass/fail test: if you pass, it is likely you do not have a hearing loss, and if you fail then it is recommended you follow up with an audiologist for a full examination of your hearing. As you age, your audiologist can track how your hearing has progressed over the years and maybe even make recommendations based on listening habits. It is good to keep in regular communication with your audiologist as a primary source of support.
Hearing Loss: More Common That You Think
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 466 million people worldwide are living with disabling hearing loss, 34 million of which are children. They report higher numbers of hearing loss, across all populations, in developing countries. The Hearing Loss Association of America tells us that approximately 48 million people are living with hearing loss in the United States.
An estimated 30 percent of seniors over the age of 65 have a hearing loss and roughly 14 percent of adults between 45 and 64 are also living with hearing loss. About 8 million people between the ages of 18 and 44 have some degree of disabling hearing loss, proving that hearing loss affects people of all generations.
These statistics highlight that many people are living with some degree of hearing loss and utilizing different treatments in the process. It also serves as a reminder that hearing loss is often called an invisible disability and steps toward being confident and visible by treating your hearing loss will slowly break down stigma around it and simultaneously benefit your overall health.
Your hearing is as important to your body’s good health and well-being as your circulatory, endocrine, or any other system. If a hearing loss is present, you put yourself at great risk of developing other medical conditions if it is left untreated. Untreated hearing loss can lead to mental fatigue, social isolation, depression, and even Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition—even more prevalent than diabetes or cancer—that affect adults in America. It is the single most common condition for seniors. Untreated hearing loss, at any age, can negatively affect your quality of life—academically, professionally, medically, socially, or any combination of these.
Visiting us at Audiology Concepts is the best way to get an accurate, thorough examination of each ear’s hearing ability. It is also important to reach out to friends and family for support as you endeavor to hear better, take better care of your overall health, and improve your quality of life in the new year and for years to come. We look forward to hearing from you!