The New Year offers an opportune time to set goals and intentions. Setting health-centered goals is a great way to commit to prioritizing your wellness. Hearing health is an integral component of holistic health that tends to be overlooked. Taking steps to tend to hearing health is particularly important because hearing loss is one of the most common conditions people navigate today. Start the New Year by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test, this simple step is a great way to begin a new chapter!
Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition that people experience today. Impacting an estimated 48 million people, or 15% of the population, hearing loss is a major health concern. Though it is pervasive, hearing loss tends to be underdiagnosed. In fact, it takes an average of 7 years from the time symptoms start for people to seek treatment. Hearing loss that remains untreated can have significant consequences including:
- Strained communication: hearing loss produces a range of symptoms that make it challenging to have conversations. This includes: tinnitus (a buzzing or ringing-like sound in the ears), sounds that are distorted or muffled, identifying individual words is difficult, etc. Experiencing these symptoms while trying to talk to others makes it hard to hear, focus, and follow a conversation.
- Social withdrawal: because conversations can be frustrating and exhausting, people with untreated hearing loss often retreat unconsciously. Social withdrawal is a major effect of untreated hearing loss which includes avoiding social interactions, activities and skipping out on gatherings. This contributes to loneliness, stress, and other depressive symptoms.
- Toll on relationships: strained communication and social withdrawal can also take a toll on relationships. Communication is necessary to sustain healthy relationships. Untreated hearing loss creates barriers making it difficult to spend quality time, have meaningful interactions, and share intimacy. This can create tension and distance between people, straining relationships.
- Increased health risks: untreated hearing loss increases the risk of experiencing other health issues. Extensive research shows that untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of cognitive decline, accidental injuries, as well as depression.
It is important to understand that the impact of untreated hearing loss goes beyond a reduced capacity to hear. Untreated hearing loss can take a toll on daily life and wellness in a myriad of ways that increase health risks. Seeking treatment and addressing hearing health early is incredibly useful and necessary.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Hearing health is a key component of overall health. So treating hearing loss offers numerous benefits that improve various facets of one’s life. Major benefits include:
- Improves communication. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. These electronic devices offer a range of technologies and features that maximize hearing capacity and provide heightened sound quality. This alleviates hearing loss symptoms, making it easier to hear and process sound. With this significant support, people are able to have conversations with much more ease, presence, and control. This makes effective and smooth communication more possible.
- Strengthens relationships. Improved communication can significantly strengthen relationships. Day to day communication is an essential component of healthy relationships. Having a greater capacity to have conversations, share laughs, and spend quality time profoundly impacts relationships in positive ways. This builds intimacy and closeness, nurturing connections and strengthening relationships.
- Enriches social life. Hearing aids maximize hearing in all types of environments. This includes more challenging settings like social environments where there tend to be greater levels of background noise. Being able to hear and navigate conversations with the support of hearing aids enables people to be fully present and engaged. This enriches social activities and encourages an active social life.
These benefits transform hearing health and daily life. Treating hearing loss helps people reconnect with others, their favorite activities, and also themselves.
Steps to Prioritize Hearing Health
Fortunately, prioritizing hearing health begins with simple steps. Addressing hearing loss starts with having your hearing assessed. Hearing tests are facilitated by hearing healthcare specialists. Hearing diagnostics involve a painless process that thoroughly evaluates hearing in both ears. This identifies any hearing impairment and the degree of hearing loss you could be experiencing. These results establish the baseline of your hearing health and inform treatment options that can effectively meet your hearing needs. Kick off the New Year by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. Call us today to learn more!