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- How Treating Hearing Loss Improves Your Relationships - February 14, 2020
According to a Nielsen survey last year, the top resolutions for the new year were to “stay fit and healthy” and to “live life to the fullest.” If you have similar resolutions for the upcoming new year, we’ve got a suggestion for you!
Schedule an annual hearing exam! Did you know that taking an annual hearing test helps ensure your overall health and well-being?
Why Take an Annual Hearing Test?
Hearing loss is an invisible condition, which means we don’t necessarily notice that it’s going on right away. Even if we do notice our hearing abilities changing, and find that people are mumbling and we need to turn the volume up more frequently on the TV, it doesn’t immediately strike us as a concern.
Currently, hearing loss is the third most common medical condition in the United States, affecting about 20% of the population. For people age 65 and above, one in three experience hearing loss. This rate rises to 50% of the population of Americans over the age of 75. Given the prevalence of hearing loss in these populations, it is important to monitor your hearing. If you’re age 50 or older, hearing specialists recommend that you take an annual hearing test. Even if you’re not experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to have annual results.
On average, people wait about seven years between the time they first notice changes in their hearing and the time they decide to take a hearing test. An annual hearing test ensures that you’re aware of your hearing abilities and you can address any issues as they arise.
Benefits of Addressing Hearing Loss Early
Waiting to address hearing loss often means negative consequences to your overall health and well-being. Seven years is quite a long time to go with muddled communication, difficulty with speech recognition, and listening challenges in different sound environments.
In terms of your social life and your interpersonal relationships, untreated hearing loss could lead to miscommunication. Over time, difficulty with speech, especially in loud places, could lead to social withdrawal. As a result, untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk for conditions such as anxiety and depression. This takes a toll on your emotional well-being. By addressing hearing loss early on, with regular hearing tests, you’ll be able to stay in touch and connected to your loved ones.
In the workplace, untreated hearing loss has been found to interfere with one’s productivity, communication, and memory. This, in turn, leads to a lower earning power among people with untreated hearing loss. The good news: people who treat hearing loss with hearing aids make the same amount as their colleagues with normal hearing.
Treating hearing loss early has important benefits to your cognitive abilities as well. Studies from Johns Hopkins University have found that untreated hearing loss is linked to an increased risk of dementia. When your brain struggles to hear, your cognitive abilities are distributed to make sense of the muddle sound signals. As a result, the increased cognitive load could tire out your brain.
Similarly, untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher rate of falls, accidents, and hospitalizations. Your sense of hearing keeps you safe and aware of the world around you. Hearing health is also related to other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure. By identifying hearing loss and its potential causes, you could be treating other related conditions as well.
Healthy Hearing in the New Year
The benefits of healthy hearing are manifold. Just as you would get your eyes checked and have an annual physical exam, it’s time to add an annual hearing test to the list. Even if you do not experience hearing loss, having your results on record will benefit you in the long run as you return for future yearly hearing tests. Keeping an eye on your hearing health is what we do best.
A hearing test is simple, painless, and noninvasive – and it won’t take more than an hour of your time. If you’ve experienced changes in your hearing abilities, then we’ll help you figure out the next steps toward better hearing health.
With reports of hearing loss more prevalent across different populations, it’s important to make sure that this area of your health does not go unchecked. For a consultation and hearing test, contact us at Atlanta Hearing Doctor today!