adult woman with hearing aid having coffee with friend

Celebrate World Hearing Day: Ear and Hearing Care for All! 

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D.

March 3rd is World Hearing Day! This global campaign is organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and focuses on raising awareness about hearing loss. Did you know that hearing loss impacts nearly 1 in 5 people? The prevalence of hearing loss is twice as common as diabetes or cancer. Even though over 48 million people experience some degree of hearing loss, it still remains widely undertreated. In fact, only a third of people who could benefit from treatment, actually receive it. Untreated hearing loss can have profound effects on everyday life and health.

World Hearing Day is a global call to take action and address symptoms as early as possible. This year’s theme is Ear and Hearing Care for All which highlights the importance of accessing the hearing healthcare services, resources, and solutions available to transform your hearing health and wellness. You can participate in this call to action with one simple step: schedule an appointment for a hearing test.

Widespread Inaction on Hearing Loss 

It takes an average of 7 years for people to address their hearing loss symptoms. Studies show that there tends to be widespread inaction when it comes to hearing loss. A significant study that highlights this was published by the American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA). Researchers surveyed over 2,000 adults and found that:

  • More than 51% of all adults reported having hearing problems, but only 11% have sought treatment.
  • More than 78% of those with hearing problems have experienced them for 1 or more years. Over 35% have had trouble for 5 or more years.
  • 2 in 10 adults have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, compared with 6 in 10 who have had their vision tested.

These findings show that hearing loss tends to be ignored more than it is treated, even when symptoms are experienced for a number of years. Untreated hearing loss not only impacts hearing but also relations, social life, work performance, and overall health.

Treating Hearing Loss 

It is important to intervene as early as possible to protect the hearing you have. The first step towards treatment is having your hearing tested by a hearing healthcare specialist. Hearing tests involve a painless process that measures hearing opacities in both ears. This noninvasive process identifies any hearing loss and the degree of impairment in each ear. This information is used to then tailor treatment to meet your speech hearing needs.

There are effective ways that hearing loss is treated. The most common treatment is hearing aids which are electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplify, and process speech as well as sound. Hearing aids provide the ears and brain with significant support, alleviating symptoms and maximizing hearing capacity. This not only transforms hearing, but offers countless benefits that enhance quality of life.

Benefits of Treatment 

Treating hearing loss provides numerous benefits like strengthening hearing and communication, improving relationships, enriching social life, and enhancing overall health. Hearing aids allow people to navigate conversations, social activities, quality time with loved ones, and everyday life with greater ease and comfort. People are better able to hear and respond, supporting effective communication. Treating hearing loss also reduces a number of health risks including cognitive decline, depressive symptoms, and falls. Hearing aids strengthen cognitive functions and increase spatial awareness as well as safety, reducing the health risks that untreated symptoms are associated with.

Without the barriers of hearing loss symptoms, people can be more present and engaged. This allows people to fully participate and be present which enriches daily life. These benefits support people living active lives that they are able to fully enjoy.

Celebrate World Hearing Day by Scheduling Hearing Test

This World Hearing Day is a great time to commit to your hearing health and wellness. You can do this by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. You may feel nervous or anxious about this process but it is important to remember that the evaluation process is painless and treatment can change your life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. We look forward to supporting you as you prioritize your hearing health and wellness this March!