Add Improved Hearing to Your Health Goals!

Add Improved Hearing to Your Health Goals!

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D.

It’s never too late to reassess your health. Whether it’s a new workout routine, a new diet, or a resolve to live healthier, it’s always worth the time and investment. Anything you put into your health today will support you into the future helping you feel your best physically, emotionally, and mentally. Along this vein, hearing loss often gets forgotten and underestimated in its importance to your health. Understanding the importance of healthy hearing is key to a healthier and more active life.

Hearing loss often goes unaddressed and undertreated. If you suspect that you might have even a slight hearing loss, it’s a good idea to treat it as soon as possible. Unaddressed it can impact every aspect of your health from your mood, social connections, relationships, cognitive health, and physical safety.

Why is it Important to Screen for Hearing Loss Early?

Most people wait seven to ten years from the time they suspect they have a hearing loss to act around it. However, this is a dangerous practice. The longer you live with unaddressed hearing loss the worse symptoms can become, almost to the point of being irreversible. Even a mild hearing loss can cause you to score lower on cognitive testing and the longer you go the higher your risk of developing dementia later in life becomes. If this wasn’t a reason to treat hearing loss right away, this is only one of the risks of letting hearing loss go ignored.

Educational Settings

It’s never too late to go back to school. Studies show enrolling in classes even post retirement, stimulates the brain, and keeps your mind quick. Hearing loss is a common barrier in learning at any age. The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) reports that “Children with a hearing loss have difficulty with all areas of academic achievement, especially reading and mathematical skills. Children with a mild to moderate hearing loss, achieve one to four grade levels lower, on average, than their peers with normal hearing, unless appropriate management occurs.” Lectures are difficult to follow and in younger students hearing loss can often lead to poor behavior and misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To get the most out of your education at any age, it’s important to treat your hearing loss as soon as possible.

In the Workplace

It’s surprising how much of the workforce is living with hearing loss. Many have even acquired it while working due to exposure to loud noise over years or ototoxic chemicals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “Approximately 12% of all workers have hearing difficulty. About 8% of all workers have tinnitus. About 16% of noise-exposed tested workers have a material hearing impairment.” 

Not only does hearing loss make it difficult to socialize at work but it can keep you from performing your best in your job. You are more likely to mishear directions and make mistakes due to communication issues. It also becomes a safety hazard as you are less aware of your environment, lengthening your reaction time in case of an emergency.  While hearing loss is recognized as a disability under the American Disabilities Act, providing protections in the workplace, if you aren’t open and treating your hearing loss you can’t take advantage. Sadly far too many people with unaddressed hearing loss earn less and are more likely to be skipped over for promotions, compared to coworkers with normal hearing or are actively treating their hearing loss.

Rescue Your Relationships

We are nothing without a support system of the people we love and share family and community with. However, it’s common for people with hearing loss to struggle with strained relationships, and issues in social situations. Hearing loss makes it hard to follow conversations making it likely that you’ll suffer from self-isolation, chronic depression and strained relationships.

Treating Your Hearing Loss

The good news is that while hearing loss is permanent, the use of hearing aids can help! To find out more about how these amazing devices can support you in every part of your life, do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a hearing exam. Your journey towards better hearing can start now!