If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your hearing very often. But the truth is, hearing loss is a major problem in the United States. According to the National Institute of Health, nearly 30 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss.
And it’s not just older adults who are affected; more and more young people are experiencing hearing loss as well. There are many causes of hearing loss, but one of the most common is exposure to loud noise.
Whether it’s listening to music through headphones or being exposed to loud machinery at work, noise exposure can damage your hearing over time. And once your hearing is gone, it’s gone for good. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect your ears.
Here are some things you should know about the hidden risks of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is a hidden disability that can have far-reaching consequences
Hearing loss is a disability that all too often goes unnoticed and can have serious, long-term effects. From difficulty understanding speech in noisy situations to potential brain activity differences associated with auditory deprivation, untreated hearing loss has been linked to a range of social, emotional and physical issues.
Whether age or environmental factors cause it, we should not underestimate the impact of hearing loss — seeking preventative measures or early medical intervention can make all the difference.
It can lead to social isolation and depression, as well as cognitive decline
Hearing loss is far more than a minor nuisance, it can have serious implications for physical and mental health. A common yet often overlooked consequence of hearing loss is social isolation and depression caused by the frustration of not being able to communicate effectively with others. This can be further compounded by cognitive decline due to sensory deprivation if hearing loss is not treated. Research has also established that mental faculties can be enhanced through stimulation of the auditory system—demonstrating why preventive measures are so important in avoiding these risks.
There are many causes of hearing loss
Hearing loss is a surprisingly common condition and can be caused by countless factors. From long-term exposure to loud noise to the regular use of certain medications, or simply due to the effects of aging — there are many potential causes of hearing loss which can eventually lead to significant problems if left unchecked.
Thankfully, it is never too late to use protective equipment, limit exposure to noise pollution, and/or get regular health checkups to avoid more serious problems with hearing down the line. It’s also important for communities, businesses and individuals alike to be aware of the hidden risks associated with hearing damage, so that preventative action can always be taken even before any symptoms arise.
Some risk factors for hearing loss are modifiable
Hearing loss can be a problem with far-reaching effects, such as difficulty understanding speech and decreased quality of life. Certain risk factors, however, can be altered by taking proactive steps.
For example, wearing ear protection around loud noises or avoiding them can help to protect your hearing in the long run. Smoking is another modifiable risk factor. It’s known to decrease blood flow to the ear, which may lead to permanent hearing damage.
Quitting smoking may help preserve one’s hearing health, although the full effect of this precaution takes time and consistency. Fortunately, anyone can take action to reduce their risk of hearing loss due to these controllable risks — today could be the first step toward better auditory well-being!
Others, like age and family history, cannot be changed
Hearing loss can also be determined by factors that are out of our control, such as age or family history. Aging is one of the most common causes of hearing problems; as we get older, the way sound travels through our ears deteriorates and makes it more difficult to hear clearly.
There is a strong genetic link to why some people experience hearing issues from an early age. Whether or not we like it, these factors are out of our ability to alter, and therefore, serve as another set of risks for those who suffer from hearing impairment. Awareness of how outside influences can affect our hearing is essential in managing potential issues early on.
If you are at risk for hearing loss, get your hearing checked regularly
Hearing loss can be a significant issue for many people, affecting communication and negatively impacting the quality of life. However, it’s often difficult to tell if you have hearing loss until it has become severe, which is why it’s important to take proactive steps to ensure your hearing is assessed and managed.
If you think you may be at risk for hearing loss, talking to your doctor about getting your hearing tested is an important first step. Doing so will give you peace of mind and provide a more accurate picture of the damage that may already have occurred in your ears.
At Carlisle Hearing Center, we are dedicated to providing quality care toward improving your hearing health and quality of life. Hearing-related issues can often make you feel alone, but with our technologically advanced and affordable hearing aid solutions and top-notch advice, you can confidently live your life, assured that we are always looking out for you and your loved ones!
Contact us today to schedule your free hearing test, or visit our website to learn more about our Oticon hearing aid repairs solutions.