October is Audiology Awareness Month. In honor of that, we’d like to discuss some key facts about hearing loss as well as what you can do to protect your hearing.
Five Facts About Hearing Loss
- Hearing loss risk increases with age. The older you get, the more likely you are to experience hearing loss. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), only 2% of adults aged 45-54 have disabling hearing loss, compared to nearly 25% of adults aged 65 to 74 and 50% of those who are 75 and older.
- Common activities can increase your risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Next to age, exposure to loud noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, especially among younger individuals. Many common activities can pose a threat to your hearing, including working in loud environments, attending rock concerts, hunting, and even listening to music too loud with headphones or earbuds.
- Custom hearing protection exists. Wearing earplugs or earmuffs when you’re around loud sounds can help protect your ears. While you can use foam earplugs from a drugstore, custom hearing protection exists for different activities like playing music or hunting. They protect your ears while allowing you to hear the sounds you need to hear.
- Hearing loss can be temporary. Not all hearing loss is permanent. Sometimes conditions like an ear infection or a buildup of earwax can cause temporary hearing loss that will resolve after the underlying condition is treated.
- Untreated hearing loss is bad for your health. Even though hearing loss is a common condition, only a fraction of adults who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Leaving your hearing loss untreated not only makes it likely that your condition will worsen, but it can harm your health in other ways as well. Untreated hearing loss can lead to higher levels of anxiety and depression, balance problems, and even cognitive decline and dementia.
When To Schedule a Hearing Test
Hearing loss can come on gradually and signs can be subtle at first. Maybe you’ve noticed that you turn the TV or radio up louder than usual or that you struggled to follow the conversation when out to dinner with your family at Decker Kitchen.
If you have any concerns about your hearing, schedule a hearing test as soon as possible. The sooner it’s discovered, the sooner you and your audiologist can develop a treatment plan to help you stay healthy and connected to the world around you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Decibel Hearing Services today.