Did you know that 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. Hearing loss is one of the most common medical conditions that people experience today. In the United States alone, nearly 1 in 5 people have some degree of impaired hearing. But only a third of people who could benefit from treatment, actually receive it.
A great way to celebrate World Hearing Day is by scheduling an appointment to have your hearing tested. This March is an invitation to prioritize your hearing health and wellness!
Signs of Hearing Loss
It takes an average of 7 years for people to address their hearing loss symptoms. Hearing loss typically occurs gradually so people may miss initial signs of it which contributes to delaying treatment. Being able to recognize symptoms allows you to intervene early which can protect the hearing that you do have and better support your transition into stronger hearing health. Common hearing loss signs include:
- Tinnitus: a buzzing or ringing like noise (in one or both ears) that only you can hear.
- Keeping up with conversations, especially in places with background noise (restaurants and parties) is difficult.
- Talking on the phone is challenging.
- Sounds are muffled or distorted.
- Frequently asking others to repeat what they said, speak louder, and/or slower.
- Lip reading to help identify individual words.
- Being able to hear better out of one ear compared to the other.
- Watching TV or listening to music at higher volume settings.
- Feeling fatigued after conversations and social interactions.
- Experiencing miscommunication, feeling excluded from conversations.
- Keeping conversations as short as possible.
These symptoms can be mild to severe, depending on the degree of hearing loss in each ear. To cope with symptoms, people often avoid conversations as much as possible. This can look like spending less time with loved ones, skipping social events, and participating less in hobbies. Social withdrawal is actually a major effect of untreated symptoms. This not only impacts relationships and social life, but it can take a toll on mental health by contributing to the development of depressive symptoms.
Hearing Loss Treatment: What to Expect
The first step towards treating hearing loss is scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests are non invasive and painless processes that comprehensively evaluate your hearing health. There are a few types of hearing tests, one of the most common being pure tone audiometry testing. This test involves wearing headphones in a soundproof room or booth while sounds are played at different frequencies and pitches. Guided by a hearing healthcare specialist, you will be asked to indicate what you can hear by raising your hand or pressing a button. Your results will be captured in real time and will record the softest sounds you are able to hear adn the sounds that are more challenging for you to detect.
A hearing test will identify any hearing loss you are expecting and the degree of impairment in each ear. Once your hearing needs are established, your hearing healthcare provider is able to tailor treatment to meet those needs. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. Your hearing healthcare provider will help you navigate your options, ensuring that you choose a device that optimally meets your hearing and lifestyle needs.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Treating hearing loss offers countless benefits that not only transform hearing but your overall health and quality of life. Hearing aids are designed to absorb, amplify, adn process speech as well as sound. This provides the ears and brain with ample support which alleviates symptoms and increases one’s capacity to hear. Hearing aids enable people to hear adn communicate much more easily. This offers major benefits including: strengthening communication, relationships, social life, and health. People are better able to live active lives that they can be fully present in.
Schedule a Hearing Test for World Hearing Day
World Hearing Day is a perfect opportunity to prioritize your hearing health and wellness. You can do this by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. There is an array of hearing healthcare services, resources, and solutions available to you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation.