October is Audiology Awareness Month. We’d like to take some time to highlight important information about hearing loss as well as why it’s important to be proactive about your hearing health.
Hearing Loss Facts
- Hearing loss becomes more common as you age. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), nearly 25% of those aged 65 to 74 and 50% of those who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.
- Hearing loss can affect anyone. Even though hearing loss is more common in older individuals, people of any age can have the condition, including children. Many factors can cause pediatric hearing loss, including genetics, certain illnesses and low birth weight.
- Hearing loss can (sometimes) be 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.
- Exposure to loud noise is a leading cause of hearing loss among all ages. Repeated exposure to noises over 85 decibels can damage your ears and lead to tinnitus and permanent hearing loss. Activities that may put you at risk include working in loud environments, going to concerts and sporting events, hunting, riding snowmobiles or motorcycles and listening to music loudly with headphones or earbuds.
- You can protect your hearing. Using hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs when you are exposed to loud noises can help protect against any potential damage while still letting you enjoy those activities.
- Hearing loss can affect your relationships. Hearing loss makes it harder to understand speech, which makes it difficult to communicate with others. This can negatively affect many aspects of your life but can take a particular toll on your closest relationships, as it can lead to frustration, misunderstandings and even isolation.
- Untreated hearing loss can lead to bigger health problems. People with untreated hearing loss experience higher levels of anxiety and depression, and balance issues and may even be at a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
The Importance of Treating Your Hearing Loss
Because hearing loss can have so many consequences for your health and happiness, it’s important to seek treatment at the earliest sign of a problem. If you find yourself needing to turn the volume up on the TV or struggling to follow conversations when out with your family at Rosie’s Diner, schedule an appointment for a hearing test.
The earlier you are diagnosed and treated with hearing aids or other listening devices, the better. Proper treatment can keep you connected to the world around you and benefit your overall health and quality of life.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Massachusetts Hearing Group today.