In honor of October being Audiology Awareness Month, we’d like to highlight some key facts about hearing loss as well as ways you can take control of your hearing health.
Hearing Loss Basics
- Hearing loss risk increases with age. The older you get, the more likely you are to experience hearing loss. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), only 2% of adults aged 45-54 have disabling hearing loss, compared to nearly 25% of adults aged 65 to 74 and 50% of those who are 75 and older.
- Common activities can increase your risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Next to age, exposure to loud noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, especially among younger individuals. Many common activities can pose a threat to your hearing, including working in loud environments or attending rock concerts and live sporting events.
- Hearing protection can keep your ears safe. Wearing earplugs or earmuffs when you’re around loud sounds can help protect your ears. While you can use foam earplugs from a drugstore, custom hearing protection exists for different activities like playing music or hunting. They protect your ears while allowing you to hear the sounds you need to hear.
- Hearing loss is sometimes temporary. Not all hearing loss is permanent. Sometimes conditions like an ear infection or a buildup of earwax can cause temporary hearing loss that will resolve after the underlying condition is treated.
- Untreated hearing can worsen your health. Even though hearing loss is a common condition, only a fraction of adults who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Leaving your hearing loss untreated not only makes it likely that your condition will worsen, but it can harm your health in other ways as well. Untreated hearing loss can lead to higher levels of anxiety and depression, balance problems, and even cognitive decline and dementia.
- Hearing aids are good for your health. Treating hearing loss with hearing aids not only makes it easier to process speech and sound but can help reduce your risk of health complications from untreated hearing loss as well.
When Should I Get a Hearing Test?
Hearing loss often comes on gradually. You may not even notice it at first. Schedule an appointment for a hearing test if you notice any of the following signs:
- You find yourself asking others to repeat themselves often
- You experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Telephone conversations are difficult to follow
- You struggle to hear high-pitched sounds
- You need to turn the volume up on the TV louder than you used to
- It’s becoming more difficult to follow conversations in busy places with background noise, like Riverside Café
- Others have commented on your hearing
If you have additional questions about hearing loss or wish to schedule an appointment, call Aaron's Hearing Aid & Audiology Center today.