Are you worried about your hearing health? Have you found it more difficult that usual to follow conversations, or have you been asking your friends to repeat themselves? Were you startled to see emergency lights behind you, but didn’t seem to hear the sirens until the vehicle was on your bumper? If you’ve been avoiding a hearing test, now is the perfect time to do the right thing for your health and wellbeing. This New Year’s, resolve to get your hearing tested!
Who’s at Risk of Hearing Loss?
Many American’s believe that only seniors struggle with hearing loss. The truth is that 40 million Americans live with hearing loss, and many people under the age of 65 can’t hear clearly. Your risk of hearing loss does increase with age, and seniors over the age of 75 have a 50% chance of having some hearing loss. However, many adults, teens, and even children battle with hearing loss.
Children can suffer hearing loss from an illness, injury, or infection, and some children are even born with hearing loss. Teens are increasingly at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices, like spending far too much time plugged into their listening devices with the volume turned up far too loud. Finally, adults often experience hearing loss due to exposure to dangerously loud sounds during work or leisure activities. High risk jobs include law enforcement, military personnel, factory workers, farmers, musicians, construction workers, and bartenders.
Living with Untreated Hearing Loss
Why is it so important to get a hearing test? If you’ve been living with untreated hearing loss, you’ve likely been feeling more fatigued than usual. Your brain is working overtime to help you hear, and this comes at a high price. As you lose more of the sounds around you, your brain plays an increasingly complex game of fill in the blanks, trying to make sense of what’s been said, and helping you as you struggle to follow conversations or understand what’s being said during meetings at work or lunch room banter. All this strain means you’ll be more and more tired, and at the end of the day you’ll be completely exhausted.
Dealing with Social Isolation
If you’ve been living with untreated hearing loss, you will start to notice a breakdown in communication, and struggle with relationships that used to be easy. You may have more squabbles with your family, or have frequent misunderstandings. Your loved ones may think you’re ignoring them when you fail to hear them call to you from another room, and simple conversations about what you want to eat for breakfast can turn into yelling matches.
In your social life, you may be feeling embarrassed about your hearing loss, and struggle to keep up with conversations. You don’t want your friends to know you can’t hear, but more and more often you find yourself lost and confused in conversations, especially in places with a lot of background noise. As you mishear comments and respond inappropriately more often, you start to stay home rather than face the social pressures of hearing loss. This leads to social isolation, anxiety, and even depression.
The Cognitive Cost of Hearing Loss
Your social life isn’t the only thing that takes a hit when you can’t hear. Those with hearing loss dedicate a lot of brainpower to hearing, and face a lot of listening fatigue. This means the brain doesn’t have energy for all the other tasks you need to perform, and those with hearing loss often struggle with concentration, accomplishing tasks, and following instructions. Hearing loss has been linked to more rapid cognitive decline, and those with untreated hearing loss perform far worse on cognitive tests than those with hearing aids. Hearing loss is also closely linked to dementia, and untreated hearing loss is a big risk factor in developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
My Hearing Centers
Have you been ignoring your hearing loss? Face the facts, and do the right thing for your health and wellbeing. Don’t wait another year, but make a New Year’s resolution to get your hearing tested, and enjoy a world full of sound! At My Hearing Centers, our expert team of hearing health specialists are dedicated to giving you the best in hearing, and after a hearing test we’ll help you to find the perfect device so you can enjoy the new year with great hearing.