Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States? It affects about 20% of the people in the world. One in three people 65 and older have hearing loss. When a person is 75 or older, this number goes up to 50%. Based on these numbers, most of us know someone with hearing loss, whether a grandparent, parent, spouse or coworker.
At the same time, hearing loss is an invisible condition where people learn to deal with their problems. This means that it may not be apparent immediately if someone you know has trouble hearing. Even if you’re losing your hearing, you might not know it. Hearing loss usually happens slowly, giving you time to “get used” to how you hear, even if it’s not normal.
Knowledge is power when it comes to hearing loss. If you know the signs of hearing loss, you can take steps to treat it as soon as possible, which is good for your health and well-being as a whole.
How do you know if you’re losing your hearing?
Hearing loss usually happens slowly and over time. People wait about seven years on average after the first time they notice changes in their hearing before they decide to get help. If you or someone you care about has some of the following signs, you might want to get your hearing checked.
You may have hearing loss if you:
- often ask people to repeat what they say
- have trouble hearing in groups
- think other people mumble when they talk
- can’t hear someone talking behind you
- turn up the volume on your TV and car radio
- have trouble understanding phone conversations
- can’t hear your alarm clock
- have trouble hearing at the movies
- dread going to noisy parties and restaurants
People with hearing loss often say that, even though they can hear, it’s hard to understand what’s being said. People with trouble hearing find it hard to understand speech, which is why they tend to avoid social situations. Over time, this lack of social interaction could lead to anxiety and depression, which are both linked to hearing loss that isn’t treated.
Why it’s essential to notice the hearing loss and get treatment
If you don’t treat your hearing loss, it can hurt your health and well-being in many ways. By noticing that you have hearing loss and getting help for it, you will enjoy several benefits.
Getting back in touch with your family
Strong relationships are built on good communication, whether with your spouse, partner, family, friends, coworkers, or anyone else. When your hearing loss is treated, you can talk to your loved ones again. When we have trouble hearing, we tend to ask our loved ones to repeat themselves, which can get frustrating over time. At the same time, problems with speech recognition could make it hard for people to understand each other. Hearing aids are used to treat hearing loss. They are made to clear speech signals so you can stay in touch with your friends and family.
More money in the bank
Hearing loss could make it hard to communicate on the job, and if you have trouble hearing, you may find it hard to work and have trouble remembering things. In a study that looked at the income levels of people with hearing loss (both untreated and treated), researchers found that treating your hearing loss with hearing aids can make more money. People with moderate to severe hearing loss who didn’t use hearing aids had household incomes that were $5,000 to $6,000 lower than those who didn’t use hearing aids.
Better overall health
Taking care of hearing loss is essential for your health as a whole! Several studies from Johns Hopkins University have found a possible link between hearing loss that isn’t treated and a higher risk of dementia. Hearing happens in the brain, and if you don’t treat hearing loss, your brain has to work harder to figure out what sounds mean. This could tire the brain because it would have to do more work, leading to dementia.
Getting a hearing test is the first step to better hearing health if you or someone you care about thinks they might have hearing loss. Get in touch with us today!