Hearing loss is a gradual condition that can affect any person at any point in their lifetime. Due to its gradual nature, you may not realize that you even have a hearing problem until it reaches a significant degree of discomfort.
Unlike popular belief, hearing loss is NOT a problem that affects only the elderly population. Even though half of the adults aged above 75 suffer from some form of hearing damage, hearing loss affects 12.5% of American children aged between 6 to 19 years. Around 14% of adults between the ages of 45 and 64 appear to have some form of hearing impairment, which drastically increases to 30-40% for adults aged above 65 years.
The sad reality is that despite hearing loss being as common as it is in the American population, people still wait between 5 to 15 years until they finally seek help for their hearing loss! By this time, their hearing loss may become severe and begin to affect other areas of their mental and physical wellbeing as well.
Hearing loss gives rise to several health problems. Those with untreated hearing loss are at an increased risk of developing dementia. Even cardiovascular disease and diabetes are found to affect those with hearing loss with increased prevalence.
Not only does hearing loss adversely affect your physical health, it also affects your mental health. Hearing loss increases the chances of developing depression and anxiety. People with hearing loss also report having higher levels of paranoia. Cognitive skills such as memory and reasoning also tend to decline sharply for those with hearing loss.
Loss of hearing can impact your personal and professional lives as well. Those with hearing loss tend to become socially withdrawn and may have conflict in their interpersonal relationships. Their productivity in the workplace may also decline drastically as a result of their hearing loss. This can result in significant loss of annual income and may even cause employment termination.
Do not take hearing loss lightly. Damaged hearing puts you and your loved ones at risk of danger in emergency situations. It even increases your chances of sustaining injuries as a result of falling down.
Take a moment to ask yourself a few questions to help determine whether you may be suffering from hearing loss.
- Do you have trouble hearing the doorbell or the phone when it rings?
- Does everyone around you seem to be mumbling?
- Do you need to keep raising the volume on your television or radio in order to hear what is going on?
- Does everyone around you need to constantly repeat what they are saying to you?
- Do you have trouble hearing people when they talk over the phone or in crowded places?
If you answered “yes” to more than one question from the above list, you may have hearing loss. Talk to your audiologist today to see whether you can benefit from the use of hearing aids. Hearing loss is an irreversible condition, but you can take back control of your life by investing in a pair of hearing aids to help you hear well.