New Year’s Resolution: Get Your Hearing Tested

In Hearing Health, Hearing Loss by Jack Felix, ACA, BC, HISLeave a Comment

Jack Felix, ACA, BC, HIS

Another year has begun and with that comes New Years resolutions. Perhaps you are hoping to get your garden in order or perhaps your finances. Perhaps you are hoping to travel more or spend time with friends and family. With all these resolutions it’s important that your health is at it’s best. Approximately 48 million people in the United States suffer from hearing loss. The scary part is that many do not even know they have hearing loss at all!

The gradual affects of hearing loss

For most people, hearing changes very slowly and the early stages often go unnoticed. It is often the case that others begin to notice that a person is not hearing as well as they used to but sometimes feel uncomfortable mentioning it. It’s very common to not be ready to deal with hearing loss as it may seem like an admittance that you are aging or are reluctant to invest in hearing aids. How every nothing will make you appear older than not being able to keep up with conversation with your friends, family and co-workers. Whether you’ve noticed it yourself and family or friends are making comments about your hearing, it’s extremely important not to delay having your hearing checked. There is overwhelming evidence that it’s a big mistake to ignore the signs that hearing is changing

Signs of hearing loss

Although the ways in which changes in hearing begin to show vary with individuals, here are a number of common signs of earlier stage hearing loss which most people experience.

  • Misunderstanding what’s been said, often needing it to be repeated
  • Following conversation in noisier surroundings becomes difficult and tiring
  • TV and radio needing to be turned up to make it easier to understand
  • Difficulty understanding someone speaking from a distance
  • Being able to tell which direction noise is coming from

Negative effects of hearing loss

Several studies have documented the impact of untreated hearing loss. A nationwide survey of nearly 4,000 adults with hearing loss and their significant others showed significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other psychosocial disorders in individuals with hearing loss who were not wearing hearing aids. Some of the negative effects on cognitive function with hearing loss include:

Sensory dulling

When you can’t hear what’s going on around you, your mental sharpness suffers. This is because the reduction in aural stimulation over time can impair the brain’s ability to process sound and recognize speech. The brain doesn’t get the practice that it needs.

Mental decline

Research consistently demonstrates the considerable effects that hearing loss has on social, psychological and cognitive performance. It can lead to cognitive decline and dementia.

Social withdrawal

Because conversations take so much more mental energy when you struggle to hear, an untreated hearing loss often causes people to withdraw from socializing. This can lead to isolation and depression if you leave it untreated.

This survey looked at the positive benefits of amplification and showed that hearing aid use positively affected quality of life for both the hearing aid wearer and his or her significant other. These conditions were improved after hearing aids were fit. Other dangerous effects of untreated hearing loss include, dementia, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and more frequent falls and hence more time spent hospitalized.

Benefits of Hearing Aids

Using a hearing aid presents a number of advantages to a hearing-impaired person. First and foremost, you will hear a lot better. Hearing aids do not restore your hearing to normal, but they improve it significantly. It becomes easier to hear what other people say. Sounds you have not heard for a long time such as birds singing, door bells ringing, the howling of the wind and water running, may become audible to you. Hearing aids usually improve the user’s social, psychological and physical sense of well-being as well as overall physical health and sense of independence.

Taking a hearing test at Hearing Care Centers

If you’re concerned you may have hearing loss the best option is to arrange an appointment for a hearing assessment with us at Hearing Care Centers. We can then decide whether hearing aids are the best option for you and if so, which model would best fit your lifestyle.  Don’t spend another moment wondering if you have hearing loss! Use this New Year as a call to have your hearing checked so can move on to the things in life that matter to you the most.

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