Avoiding Hearing Tests Could Make the Problem Much Worse

Avoiding Hearing Tests Could Make the Problem Much Worse

Hearing loss, unlike most disorders, is invisible and develops over time, making it challenging to identify and mark as a problem. If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone who seemed to misunderstand or forget what you just said or who kept asking you to repeat yourself, they most likely had hearing loss.

The facts are staggering: 48 million Americans have hearing loss, and 90 percent could benefit from hearing aids. But only 14 percent have them—and many don’t use them with any consistency. The average age of first–time hearing aid users is approximately 70, even though half of them began to lose their hearing at least a decade earlier. That is a pretty long time not being able to hear the world around you. You may wonder what’s the harm in waiting. You probably think you can get by without too much of a problem.

If you don’t use it, you will lose it!

Consider what happens to a person’s arm after it has been in a cast for months. Once the cast is removed, the arm will typically look smaller and less muscular than before the break. This process can be defined as atrophy. If you don’t use your arm for an extended period, you lose muscle mass and strength. 

This “use it or lose it” concept can also be applied to our hearing. However, the most significant difference between the two is that you can rebuild muscle mass after a broken arm. Because hearing happens in the brain, a hearing loss that has been left untreated for too long could affect your cognitive processes and re-wire your neural pathways. 

The Dangers of Untreated Hearing Loss

Untreated hearing loss has physical and psychological consequences that far outweigh the inability to hear well. Hearing loss has been linked to depression and social isolation, paranoia, and personality changes like becoming more introverted. Hearing loss has also been linked to a greater risk of falling. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show a three-fold increase in the risk of falls among people with a very mild hearing loss making it extremely dangerous to walk independently with hearing loss.

In the workplace, untreated hearing loss contributes to underperformance. More than half of people with hearing loss are under age 60—prime working years—and they are the least likely age group to get hearing aids.

It turns out that all of the people who can’t hear in restaurants or other noisy places, whose loved ones “mumble,” who can’t hear on the telephone—all those people who say they don’t need hearing aids—are putting themselves at greater risk for cognitive decline.

This can increase the risk of dementia. Clinical research has shown that hearing loss is found in nine out of ten subjects with dementia. This could be because those with hearing loss are more likely to isolate themselves, which is a risk factor for faster cognitive decline.

Hearing loss is a common condition

Some people with hearing loss think they hear—and understand—perfectly well. Others assume that the loss is part of aging. Some people with hearing loss simply can’t afford hearing aids. Some worry that hearing aids will make them seem old. While these people are concerned about money and appearances, their hearing loss is not only getting worse; it’s also becoming a hazard to other aspects of their life and health.

Think about the sounds that make up your world and your life. You want to preserve this vital sense for as long as you can. Studies have shown that the more proactive you are about your hearing health. The faster you pursue amplification once you are a candidate for hearing aids, the greater the possibility of the progression of the hearing loss slowing down somewhat.

It is important to note that this does not mean that hearing aids can stop your hearing loss from getting worse. However, they have been proven to keep the hearing organs and nerves functioning longer than if aids are not used.

If you have been delaying getting a hearing test, don’t put it off any longer. Please schedule an appointment for a hearing test today with us today! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Building Connections | May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Building Connections | May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Better Hearing and Speech Month is this month, which makes it an ideal time to discuss your hearing health. The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) dedicates an entire month to raising awareness of communication disabilities, including speech and language disorders and hearing loss. They work relentlessly to minimize the stigma associated with these conditions and to inspire people to seek help. 

Every year of Better Hearing and Speech Month has a theme. This year’s theme is “Building Connections”, a timely topic given how little we’ve been able to connect with our loved ones over the past year. 

Hearing aids help your communication

If you have trouble hearing, you know how difficult it is to communicate. And if the individual repeats themselves a few times, you strain to hear and miss a lot of what is being said, even in the silence of your living room. All of this can be improved with hearing aids. 

Every connection starts with communication, and hearing aids are the best way to maintain that communication when you have hearing loss. You’ll be able to hear every sound clearly with hearing aids, whether you’re at home, in the park, or at a crowded restaurant downtown. Not only will you be able to devote more time to your close relationships and social support networks, but you will also feel more self-sufficient and secure in making new connections.

Hearing aids help you in the workplace

Hearing loss affects more than just relationships. Hearing failure that goes untreated puts people’s employment and financial stability in jeopardy. 

According to studies, employees with hearing loss are often passed over for promotions, receive lower pay, and are fired more often than their hearing counterparts. According to one report, people with severe hearing loss make up to $15,000 less a year than people with moderate hearing loss! You will not be able to communicate easily at work or complete your tasks if you have hearing loss.

You will also have difficulty focusing or concentrating on tasks if you have hearing loss. Even basic tasks will take longer to complete. Hearing aids help you focus, connect, and be the team player that helps you get you the promotion you deserve.

Hearing aids protect you from damage.

Hearing loss comes with a slew of potential dangers. Have you ever gone for a walk with your earbuds in your ears and nearly walked in front of a speeding car? You’re less likely to hear threats in your area, such as traffic, emergency vehicles, or honking if you have hearing loss. You put your safety and the safety of those around you in jeopardy while walking or driving in your neighborhood. Since the equilibrium and balance systems depend on the ear for details about the world around you, those with hearing loss are more vulnerable to slips and falls.

Hearing aids help you stay safe by alerting you of incoming dangers. They will also help you maintain your spatial awareness.

Columbus, OH teenager, speaks up on the need for hearing aid health insurance coverage.

Children pick up vocabulary by listening to their surroundings. However, their ability to hear is essential for more than just language development. Their listening abilities significantly impact their ability to learn to read and write and their social skills

Hearing aids are critical for children with hearing loss, and that is what took 13-year-old Alexis Klugo to the Ohio Statehouse last month. Klugo was diagnosed with hearing loss at birth and started using hearing aids at 18 months. Her hearing aids were dubbed her “Magic Ears” by her audiologist.

“My Magic Ears keep me safe because I can hear noises like the doorbell, cars coming down the street, the fire alarm, or my mother telling me to clean my bed,” Klugo told lawmakers.

She was speaking in favor of House Bill 198, which would include up to $2,500 in hearing aid coverage for those under the age of 21 for 48 months. The bill’s supporters are optimistic that it will pass.

Visit us for a hearing test today!

Visit our practice for a hearing evaluation if you want to see the difference hearing aids can make. We’ll get you fitted for a good pair of hearing aids that suit your lifestyle and needs, teach you how to get the most out of your hearing aids and provide the best in hearing health care.