Celebrate the month of May with American Speech-Language-Hearing Association of America (ASHA). Engage with their campaign for strengthening and participating in an important and ongoing investment in your hearing health at every stage of your life! ASHA provides many resources and information on the continued role that your hearing plays in your overall health and how to sustain it from infancy to adulthood and at Able Hearing, we’re excited to join in Better Speech and Hearing Month this May!
What you need to know about hearing loss
Hearing loss is a condition that affects almost half a billion people worldwide and by 2050 that number will be close to double. The World Health Organization (WHO) informs us that 60% of children affected have preventable conditions. Between the ages of 12 and 35, there are over a billion that are vulnerable to hearing impairment. The factors that put us at risk of hearing decline are varied and mixed. The range consists of heredity, medicines, environment, diet and our everyday practices. In this month of May, let’s focus on what we know that we can control and how to incorporate preventive techniques in our daily lives going forward.
How does hearing loss impact you?
As an adult, declining hearing abilities can result in withdrawal from social and recreational activities and lessen work productivity. We are social creatures and the strain of poor hearing can lead to tremendous fatigue and cost us our mental and physical health. Continued exertion to hear people clearly in conversation or to catch the details of a work-related dialogue eventually takes its toll. As hearing loss progresses it can lead to isolation and open us up to depression.
In the work world, we often rely on our hearing ability in professional situations for details and nuances in meetings, negotiations, and networking. Therefore, we also incur a financial cost if we lack attention to our hearing health. Maintenance is the key to sustaining and enriching our relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
Questions for Hearing Health
- Is your workplace loud and noisy?
- Do your social activities expose you to loud music or sound?
- Do you constantly need people to repeat themselves in conversation?
- Do sounds and speech seem muffled more frequently?
- Do your friends or family tell you they have noticed a change in your communication?
If the answer is yes to more than one of these questions, then it is in your best interest to get a hearing test. Keep in mind that as an adult we should get a hearing check-up every 5 years, and then every year after the age of 50. Early identification and detection will enable you to get the most effective treatment to inhibit hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Treatment
A screening of your hearing by a hearing health professional is the best place to start to determine which treatments are best suited for you. Hearing instruments, assistive devices and cochlear implants are a few examples of what specialists in hearing might incorporate in treatments.
Technological advances for these devices will not reconstruct our previous hearing process but will aid in the amplification of sounds. Others can help to signal attention to hazards like fire or to let us know that our telephone is ringing. Other systems can be as simple as text to speech on our phones or apps that allow us to monitor sound levels at home or work so that you can take preventative measures.
Healthy Hearing Practices
Be mindful of your environment and carry and use earplugs. It really is a simple and cost-effective way to deal with the stress that your ears are subject to on a daily basis. Noise pollution is part of our daily lives and often we aren’t able to walk away from the source.
Don’t allow yourself to be exposed to high decibel sounds like jackhammers or music concerts for a long period of time.
Ongoing research on Hearing Loss
Based on research provided by the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and featured in an article by Science Daily (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181015132953.htm), we have greater hope in maintaining our hearing health. We are one of the few mammals that don’t regrow the sensory cells in the middle ear crucial to our hearing sense. Due to the groundbreaking research by Patricia White, Ph.D. and the diligence of the researchers from URMC and the Massachusetts Ear and Eye Infirmary, that is changing. They have found alternative ways through complex systems and needs, for sensory cells to replicate and to rebuild, and have our hearing system be restored in case of hearing loss damage.
Be your complete yourself again
Now you are aware of why and what is necessary to take control of one of the most important senses you rely upon, there is a lot to look forward to. You can confidently go back to your social activities with your friends and loved ones, attend that office party or go to the theatre for that blockbuster movie.