New Year’s Resolution: Get Your Hearing Tested

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New Year’s Resolution: Get Your Hearing Tested

Peter Lucier, HIS
Latest posts by Peter Lucier, HIS (see all)

The New Year is upon us again and not only a new year but also a new decade! With the start of 2020, we are another year older and wiser. You may have so many resolutions to jump start the year. While there are so many worth resolutions it’s important to remember that if your health isn’t top notch, any resolution that you may have will be that much harder to achieve. There is widespread belief that hearing loss is a benign result of aging. However, the latest research reveals that untreated hearing loss can have significant negative consequences on an individual’s physical, mental, and social health.

Age related hearing loss

Age related hearing loss also known as Presbycusis is generally a slowly progressive hearing loss that affects both ears. It is this loss of clarity that leads people to report perceiving others as mumbling or lacking proper enunciation. These problems are more evident when background noise is present and noise further masks speech sounds. The effects of presbycusis can be minimized with properly fitted hearing aids.

Hearing loss is gradual

Adults with presbycusis often do not readily perceive their own hearing loss until it has advanced significantly. Presbycusis is a gradual loss occurring over many years. Typically, an individual’s family, friends, or caregivers are the first to recognize a hearing problem. Common signs of hearing loss, as observed by others, include answering questions inappropriately or asking questions that seem unrelated to the conversation.

Negative effects of hearing loss

The effects of hearing loss don’t just affect your ears. Studies have shown that even a mild untreated hearing loss can have negative effects on an individual’s social, psychological, cognitive, and overall health. Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to the following effects:

  • irritability, negativism, and anger
  • fatigue, tension, stress, and depression
  • avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
  • social rejection and loneliness
  • reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
  • impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
  • reduced job performance and earning power
  • diminished psychological and overall health
  • increased number of falls and accidents
  • potential decrease in cognitive skills
  • reduced short-term memor
  • higher incidence of dementia.

Everyday tasks a challenge

As a result of some of these conditions, individuals with hearing loss struggle to perform many everyday tasks, such as understanding conversations with loved ones or friends and with hearing the TV, music, or telephone conversations. Frustration with the inability to hear and understand conversations frequently causes older adults with hearing loss to avoid restaurants or other noisy places. This causes individuals to withdrawal from social interaction. Relatives and friends of hearing-impaired individuals can also be adversely affected as their loved one is not the same as before. Individuals experience a decrease in their willingness to socialize with or engage in a conversation when a loved one consistently fails to hear them.

The importance of hearing aids

The best method for treating hearing loss is the use of hearing aids and, sometimes cochlear implants. Despite the negative consequences of untreated hearing loss, only 20% of people with hearing loss have taken corrective action. In fact, 28 million people in the United States could benefit from using hearing aids. Recent studies have shown that the great majority of people who wear hearing aids report positive results. Today’s hearing aids are sophisticated digital, sleek, programmable, cosmetically appealing devices that have been proven to improve hearing even in the noisiest of environments. It is imperative that the type and degree of hearing loss are diagnosed before a hearing aid is recommended or fitted.

Hearing Aid Specialists of the Central Coast

With a fresh start to the new year, contact us Hearing Aid Specialists of the Central Coast to set up a hearing test! We can help you find the best hearing aids for your needs and lifestyle. Once you are using hearing aids on a consistent basis you can start to hear and be heard. Once you deal with your hearing your sense of independence can be replenished and your imagination is the limit to what you can achieve in 2020. What a better way to start the year? Contact us today!

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