If the paint on your car gets scratched, you might put off getting it fixed until you’ve got time to take it into the body shop. If your shoes are starting to wear out, you might wait until there are holes in your soles before you buy a new pair. And if your hearing ability is starting to diminish, you might wait to get that seen to as well. Your car and your shoes are replaceable. Your hearing isn’t. That’s why on World Hearing Day, we want as many people as possible to put getting their hearing checked at the very top of their “to do” list.
It isn’t just about the kids
Most newborns in America will have their hearing checked to make sure they have not been born with a hearing issue. After that, it is down to the parents to look out for the hearing health of their child. Hearing loss in children can have a significant impact on their speech and language development, their behavior, and their ability to learn and do well at school.
But hearing health is just as important in adulthood. Our ability to hear naturally diminishes as we age but lifestyle factors, diseases, and even certain medications can all make hearing loss much worse. At least one in five Americans over the age of 50 has a hearing loss and that increases to a staggering one in eight adults over the age of 80.
Hearing loss is often gradual and if left untreated, it can, little by little, start to reduce your quality of life. What starts out as something you can put up with or work around, soon restricts your lifestyle. This is why regular hearing checks are just as important in adulthood as in childhood.
What happens if hearing loss is not treated?
Hearing loss can affect every aspect of your life. Socially, you may struggle to follow conversations, especially against background noise, such as at a party or family gathering. You may find yourself avoiding these situations and turning down invites to events and celebrations you once enjoyed.
Communication is also key when it comes to the relationships in your life, both at home and at work. Misunderstandings can start to take their toll on even the strongest of relationships. This won’t be helped by the fact that straining to hear conversations can leave you feeling tired and stressed by the end of the day.
There is also a price to pay at a physical level. Your brain needs to receive stimulation from a full range of sounds to stay in good shape. Hearing loss starts by robbing you of the ability to hear certain sounds; your brain then gets out of practice in processing these sounds. This means when you eventually get treatment for your hearing loss, your brain will struggle to understand the sounds it now has to deal with again.
The impact on your brain doesn’t end there. Studies have now shown that cognitive decline is more common in those with an untreated hearing loss, which increases your chances of developing dementia.
Don’t wait any longer
With such a high price to pay for not getting your hearing loss treated, it is well worth getting a hearing assessment in Louisiana with one of our highly skilled Audiologists at Acadian Hearing. Once we’ve comprehensively checked your hearing health, we can advise you on all of your options for treatment and make sure you get the most appropriate treatment for your situation. So don’t delay, come and visit our hearing center in Lake Charles or Sulphur today.
Dr. Heidi J. Sorrells obtained her doctorate degree from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She is a certified Audiologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and she holds a Louisiana and a Texas Audiology License. Dr. Sorrells enjoys all aspects of working in a private practice audiology clinic but especially loves the challenges of vestibular (balance) assessment and rehabilitation.