The holiday season is here and as you run around gathering gifts for those you love, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to invest in you. This can mean many things, including taking time to connect to those you care about in life, committing to a regular exercise routine or investing in your health. With the new year rapidly approaching make a commitment to yourself—trust us, it will benefit those you love as well.
Hearing loss is the third most common health condition in the United States affecting one in three people 65 and older and half of those 75 and up. If you are entering this demographic or are well on your way to claiming your spot as an elder, it’s important to consider the reality of hearing loss. Unaddressed hearing loss can impact your emotional, cognitive, and physical health. What’s more is that you may have a hearing loss and not even know it. Most people live with hearing loss for 7 to 10 years on average before they address it. Over this time many of the dangers of avoiding hearing loss can progress. This year, we urge you to start it off right by addressing a hearing loss before it becomes a larger issue in your life!
A gift for you that others will appreciate
A hearing loss just doesn’t affect you, but all the people in your life. Communication is the cornerstone of most healthy relationships. When we struggle to hear it can be difficult to hear what people are trying to say and respond accordingly. This can start to build rifts in your relationships at home and at work. In the workplace, misunderstandings and mistakes can cost money and even become a safety hazard. For this reason, rates of unemployment for those with undiagnosed hearing loss are disproportionately higher than for those who are in treatment for hearing loss or have normal hearing.
At home an unaddressed hearing loss can affect how you connect with your family and even your significant other. You may not be aware you have a hearing loss due to the gradual nature in which it develops. Your loved ones may not understand you have a hearing loss- but instead mistake it as if you are not interested in what they are saying. This can build resentment which can take a lot of work to repair.
Signs of Hearing Loss
While self-diagnosing a hearing loss can be difficult, if you can identify the level of risk you have of hearing loss you can make a safe choice to test for hearing loss. We recommend a hearing test every 3-5 years for most people, however if you are at high risk we recommend annual hearing exams in order to diagnose and treat a hearing loss before it gets more severe. Those at a higher risk include:
- Those who work in a noisy environment.
- Those who engage in noisy hobbies or leisure activities.
- Those with chronic health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease.
- Those 60 years and older.
In addition, here are common signs of hearing loss to look out for to determine if you have an issue:
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
- Other sounds are muffled.
- You struggle to hear people with higher pitched voices such as small children.
- You struggle to hear over the phone.
- You need to turn the TV up, while others complain it is too loud.
- Your ears ring (tinnitus)
- People refer to sounds you just can’t hear
The gift of better hearing
Addressing hearing loss won’t only better your life but all the people in your life. While there is no cure for hearing loss it can be treated, most commonly using hearing aids. Hearing aids improve your ability to hear the people and sounds around you. They keep you safer by helping you be more aware of your environment and ready for anything that comes around. They also support our cognitive health by helping us bridge the gap in speech, relieving the strain on our brain. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase the risk of falls, accidents as well as the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Investing in your hearing for 2023 is a gift to you and your loved ones. The first step is to call today to schedule a hearing exam with us!