This May, also known as Better Hearing and Speech Month, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is heralding the month of May under the banner of “Communication Across the Lifespan.” Why is this important?
Hearing loss now features as one of the top three health concerns in our nation that is growing at an alarming rate and some very overwhelming studies and statistics regarding the condition of peoples hearing health worldwide. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) cites that 30 million people over the age of 12 that have had their hearing assessed, suffer from hearing loss in both ears.
Between the ages of 65 and 75, an estimated one-third of the population have definitive hearing loss in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic. We don’t think of our hearing often enough when we think of a healthy lifestyle and the main thrust of the campaign is to integrate hearing health into our daily regimen. Join us this May for greater public awareness of the need to sustain the health of our hearing today and for the rest of our lives.
How can hearing loss occur?
The World Health Organization (WHO) states the following as some of the possible ways we incur damaged hearing at any point in our lives:
- Exposure to loud work-related noise or machinery and/or explosive noise, such as jackhammers and heavy-duty equipment.
- Prolonged exposure to loud sounds when in attendance to nightclubs and concerts and/or listening to personal audio devices
- Wax or any extraneous buildup blocking the ear canal.
- Infectious diseases including meningitis, measles, and mumps;
- Chronic ear infections;
Congenital causes are conditions that are acquired in uterine or during pregnancy and include but are not limited to:
- Maternal rubella, syphilis or certain other infections
- Insufficient weight
- Oxygen deprivation
Watch for these signs!
Loss of hearing may be gradual or sudden and damage can be permanent. As we go through our daily lives experience and accumulate wear and tear to our ears, rarely a thought is given to the sustenance of our sensory hearing.
- Do you increasingly turn up the volume on audio devices?
- Are you asking people to repeat themselves more frequently?
- Do you have trouble deciphering conversation from normal background noise?
- Are you shying away from your regular social activities or talking on the phone?
Evaluate your experiences and take action now. Remember that hearing loss affects our communication with loved ones and diminishes our social lives, but it can also be detrimental to be unaware of sounds that alert us to danger as we walk, drive or cross the road! ASHA focuses on early detection and providing us with the tools and resources we need to start and maintain our hearing health from infancy to adulthood.
Take these preventative measures!
Intervention into the decline of hearing begins with detection. Adults should ideally get a hearing assessment once every three years and for those over the age of 50, once a year. Unlike vision, hearing impairment, once it occurs, cannot be corrected or repaired to its former state. To maintain your natural hearing process, see a hearing health professional at Audio Advantage Hearing Aid Center for an assessment and treatment.
Implement everyday practices to avoid continued damage. Here are some simple tips:
- Carry and wear earplugs. Often times we can get caught in loud environments that are difficult to exit
- Limit the use of your audio devices to 60% percent volume for 60 minutes.
- Download an app that gauges the noise levels at home and work.
Don’t let hearing loss lower the quality of your life
What are the repercussions of ignoring your hearing health?
It can negatively impact your life socially, mentally and financially. In every stage of our lives, we must manage our overall health and this must include attention to our sense of hearing. Isolation often occurs when a hearing affliction lessens our ability to converse with people in social settings. Withdrawal, lack of self-esteem and fatigue can easily take over.
Our work life does not escape either. Our interactions over the phone or face to face can be difficult when subtleties and particulars of conversations are lost. This can impact our ability to be at higher proficiency in our jobs and cause a decline in income. The World Health Organization also estimates a loss of $750 billion aggregating the costs to the medical industry, educational needs, social impact and productivity of the workforce due to unattended hearing loss needs.
Know your options!
Close to 30 million Americans would be better off if they were using hearing aids! Technology has given us many venues to choose from when it comes to the betterment of our hearing options. There are surgical or cochlear implants, hearing aids, alerting and assistive devices and even telephones with captioning. Learning to lip-read and use sign language might be incorporated as well for an enriched, communicative lifestyle.
Reach out to Our Team at Audio Advantage Hearing Aid Center
On behalf of yourself and those you love that might need assistance in making hearing health an ongoing priority, make the call to us today for an appointment. Step on to your path of wellness for your hearing and your overall health.