If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss but don’t want to wear hearing aids because you think they’ll make you look “old” when you work out at Powerhouse Gym, you should reconsider. Hearing loss affects people of all ages, and wearing hearing aids is no different than wearing glasses, as both treat a sensory loss.
Below we review some surprising facts about hearing loss, when you should get a hearing test, what the risks of untreated hearing loss are and what to do if you’ve already in treatment.
Facts About Hearing Loss
The World Health Organization reports that:
- Over 5% of the world’s population have disabling hearing loss that requires rehabilitation. That’s 432 million adults and 34 million children.
- By the year 2050, this number is expected to reach 10%. That’s a total of 700 million people.
- Over 1 billion young people are currently at risk of permanent hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices.
When to Get a Hearing Test
Consider the following questions:
- Do you turn up the TV louder than others prefer?
- Do you feel that people mumble constantly?
- Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do you have trouble talking on the phone?
- Do you have a hard time following conversations in noisy environments?
- Do you turn your “good ear” toward your conversation partner?
- Do you feel exhausted after social events?
- Does your family tell you that you have hearing loss?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s important to schedule a hearing test right away.
Risks of Untreated Hearing Loss
Left untreated, hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of:
- Feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression and suicide.
- Social isolation. Social isolation significantly increases the risk of premature death from all causes. This risk rivals that of smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.
- Anxiety. Those with hearing loss have been shown to have a 32% higher risk of reporting anxiety than those without.
- Depression. 11.4% of adults with hearing loss have moderate to severe depression, while 19.1% have mild symptoms.
- Falls. People with mild hearing loss have three times the risk of falling compared to those without.
- Cognitive decline/dementia. Those with mild hearing loss have two times the risk of developing dementia, those with moderate hearing loss have three times the risk and those with severe hearing loss have five times the risk compared to those with normal hearing.
What if You’re Getting Treated for Hearing Loss?
If you’ve already been diagnosed and treated for hearing loss, congrats – you’ve taken the most important steps! However, it’s important to remember that treatment is an ongoing process. Be sure to revisit your audiologist annually for a hearing test to monitor changes to your hearing and every six months for clean and check appointments for your devices.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call The Hear Care Center today.