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Five Facts About Hearing Loss

01/02/2015

Thanks to Nina M. Atchley, AuD, CCC-A, for this week’s blog post!

  1. We have two ears for a reason! Getting auditory input from both ears allows us to locate where sounds are coming from in space and provides a “boost” to help us understand better in noisy environments. This is why if hearing loss is present in both ears, it’s important to get two hearing aids, which allows for optimal processing of sound in your environment.
  2. With advances in technology and laws in place requiring newborn hearing screenings, a hearing loss that is present at birth can be detected before the infant leaves the hospital. Data collected by the CDC shows a rate of 1.4 children per 1,000 tested are diagnosed with hearing loss at birth.
  3. While hearing loss can occur at any age, it becomes more common as we get older. However, it isn’t necessarily an inevitable part of aging. Studies show that genetics, illnesses, noise exposure, medications, and poor cardiovascular health can all contribute to hearing loss.
  4. There is a strong correlation between increased symptoms of anxiety and depression in elderly patients with untreated hearing loss. Hearing loss can also exacerbate symptoms of dementia. The need to communicate with and understand the people around us is extremely important to our well being.
  5. In adults, there is on average a 7 year gap between the date of hearing loss diagnosis and fitting of amplification. So why the delay? Accepting a diagnosis of hearing loss can be a threat to self identity. It is hard to overcome the stigma that people associate with hearing loss and “being old”. Studies show that prompt treatment of hearing loss results in far better aging outcomes and quality of life. Take care of yourself and your loved ones by managing your hearing health!

 

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