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Hearing loss is a very common condition, affecting 48 million people and is the third most common chronic physical condition, more prevalent than diabetes or cancer in the US.
There are many factors that contribute to hearing loss, the most common being old age. Even so hearing loss can affect anyone of any age. Hearing loss is a progressive condition meaning it starts slowly. If left to progress, there are many dangerous side effects that will greatly impact quality of life.
Knowing how to detect a hearing loss in yourself or a loved one can be the difference between getting treatment quickly and letting symptoms progress.
Understanding the Dangers of Hearing Loss
Many don’t understand that hearing loss is more than an issue with your ears but affects the way you communicate and stay aware of your surroundings. When people struggle to understand conversation, this impacts relationships with significant others, family, friends and co-workers.
Often people become frustrated struggling to hear which can lead to anxiety, insomnia, depression and social isolation. People also are less aware of the space around them, which can lead to a higher risk of accidents, debilitating falls and hospitalization.
Many studies have even linked untreated hearing loss to cognitive strain and brain atrophy increasing the risk of developing dementia by five times, in severe cases.
Detecting Hearing Loss
When you understand that hearing loss is more than a hearing issue it becomes important to treat your hearing loss before it can progress into irreversible conditions.
Do you notice that you have to ask people to repeat themselves more and more often? Do the people around you complain that you listen to the TV or radio too loud while it seems just fine to you? Do you struggle to hear in noisy environments like restaurants or noisy stores?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then there is a chance you have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss occurs gradually, so it is hard to recognize it day to day. If your family or friends have suggested you may have a problem, this should be taken seriously.
Set up a hearing test to access your hearing ability so you can know exactly the degree of hearing loss you are dealing with. The sooner you deal with this, the better.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
There is no way to reverse the progression of hearing loss, but it can be treated with the use of hearing aids. Hearing aids are programmed to amplify the sound you struggle with so you won’t be forced to struggle through conversation.
You will be able to communicate clearly again, assert yourself confidently and take steps towards improving relationships that may have become strained due to lack of hearing. This is just one way that dealing with your hearing loss early can be beneficial.
When you deal with your hearing loss early, your relationships wont have as much time to erode. The more years that go by with poor communication, the harder it is to repair your most cherished relationships.
With hearing aids you will also experience a greater sense of independence, allowing you to succeed at work at home and engage in the activities that have always brought you joy. You will have the agency to stay social, hence reducing the risk of developing dementia significantly.
Get Your Hearing Tested Today
When you consider the dangers of ignoring your hearing loss, it may seem like a no brainer! Even so many people with hearing loss wait an average of seven years before seeking treatment.
Currently it is estimated that 15 million people in the United States with hearing loss avoid seeking help. Only 16% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss which can allow hearing loss to slip past your radar for years until it progresses to a point where it is hard to hear even in the most ideal of settings.
Don’t let hearing loss sneak up on you! Make an appointment to have your hearing tested annually and keep tabs on your hearing abilities. Contact us today to learn more.