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No one really likes to go the doctor, but it is ingrained in us that we should, when we need to have an assessment of our overall health. A yearly checkup is quite a normal part of our lives. However, this idea doesn’t really apply as much as it should when it comes to the monitoring of our hearing health.
Today in the US, the loss of hearing is one of three major public health concerns asides from the prevalence of diabetes and cancer. The National Institute of Deafness and Other Communicative Diseases (NDICD) states, “Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing” and close to another 30 million should be wearing hearing aids!
The causes of hearing loss
With presbycusis, hearing loss occurs with the natural process of aging. However, it is important that other factors in our modern age be highlighted, as they play an instrumental role in the health of our ears, and it is within our means to be aware and take active measures to minimize exposure to such situations.
Exposure to long-term and short-term noise about an 85-decibel range will contribute to hearing damage. The loudness and the time factor can vary in range but the effects can have the same negative impact. For example, fireworks for a brief period, as opposed to heavy urban traffic for a long period of time, can have equally damaging effects on our hearing. We are also spending increasingly longer hours at our job sites, and certain work environments such as construction or farming can have detrimental effects without adequate protection.
An entire generation of people under the age of 60 are now experiencing hearing loss, more than ever before due to recreational activities and personal practices. Whether it be riding motorcycles to the incessant use of earbuds for mobile entertainment, hearing loss is now one of the top three most prevalent health issues in the US. People that take certain drugs for their conditions also need to be on alert and work with their doctors to determine which medicines could be detrimental to their hearing health. This ranges from mild pain relievers to cancer-fighting medications.
Hearing loss symptoms
Are you or someone you care for experiencing any of the following?
- Unable to decipher background sound from speech
- Problems with hearing consonants in speech
- Turning up the volume to the discomfort of others
- Avoiding regular social or familial events
- Constantly asking people to repeat themselves
Ask yourself, when was the last time you had a proper hearing evaluation? If you are over the age of 21, then once every 10 years is acceptable. If you are over 50 it should be once every 3 years. This is only a suggestion because if you have any doubts, questions, or symptoms you should check with your physician or an audiologist right away.
Damage to your hearing process has many side effects that lower the quality of life. We are reliant upon the sense of hearing to give us advance notice of possibly dangerous circumstances. We need these signals in case of fire, accidents and other potentially hazardous conditions that life might surprise us with. Hearing loss is also found to have a profoundly negative impact on our balance. If you are experiencing dizziness or blurry vision, your hearing health might have a part to play.
Our ears and brain work together to creating pathways of recognized sound. Once our hearing is damaged, those pathways are no longer traveled and the sounds we receive are from a restricted range and distorted. In other words, if you don’t use it, you will lose it. Knowing this should be a good platform for those concerned about their health to take the necessary measure of prevention.
Check your personal hearing practices. Avoid loud environments. Carry and use ear plugs. Monitor your home and work environments for excessive noise. Get a hearing assessment if you haves any doubts about the health of your hearing.
Advocated by the World Health Organization, as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, early detection is the major player in maintaining our hearing health. The reason is simple, hearing loss is permanent. In order to prevent it, or contain it, a hearing assessment from a certified health professional is crucial. It is the first real step in being proactive in the health of your ears.
Many people that do suffer from hearing loss get fitted for hearing aids five or more years after they have been diagnosed. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of hearing aids is determined by when the degeneration of hearing is detected. In addition, hearing aids are not always the answer so a comprehensive testing and diagnosis for treatment is really the only way to be sure. Our team at All Ear Doctors will be able to let you know your options and create the treatment that is tailored to the hearing needs unique to you.
All Ear Doctors
With a variety of methods and devices available and technological and medical advances being made every day, getting to a hearing health expert would be the first and best step. At All Ear Doctors, we invite you to share your experiences with us and to ask any questions you might have about the health of your hearing. Is a loved one showing signs of hearing loss and unaware of it? Make an appointment to help you or someone you are close to, gain control of the future of your hearing experience!