Happy New Year from our family to yours! We hope 2020 is off to a great start for you and we want to bring you an idea that can make it even better. It’s not too late to set a resolution, so why not resolve to get your hearing tested? Hearing tests are non-invasive and painless and they can help prevent negative health issues related to hearing loss. Even if you don’t think you have hearing issues, an annual hearing test is still an important part of tracking your health and noticing changes early.
Hearing Loss: More Common Than You Think
Today, more than 48 million Americans live with significant hearing loss – that’s around 15% of the population. Hearing loss is incredibly common, but knowing how to manage hearing health isn’t widespread. Studies have found that when people notice an issue with their hearing, they wait an average of seven years before scheduling a hearing exam! In that time, existing hearing issues worsen and can drag down other aspects of our health, like coordination, cognitive skills, emotional and social wellbeing, and heart health.
Finding and treating hearing loss early is by far the best way to address a hearing impairment. Early treatment is usually easier to adjust to – for example, when hearing loss is left untreated it actually changes the way the brain processes sound, making it harder to adapt when treatment is introduced.
As we age, annual hearing exams go from being just a good idea to being a key part of our comprehensive health care. Most hearing loss is permanent, caused by damage to the sensitive parts of our inner ear. Incidents of damage accrue over our lifetime, and our auditory system also becomes more delicate as we age. At age 65, 1 in 3 people has some form of significant hearing loss. From age 60 onward, hearing loss becomes more and more likely to occur: 50% of the population at age 75 have hearing loss and 90% of people age 90 or older will have hearing impairment. Making a habit of getting an annual hearing exam means that when hearing issues arise, you can take action.
The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
While most hearing loss cannot be reversed, it can be treated with highly effective assistive devices like hearing aids. Hearing aids are tuned specifically to your hearing loss making it easier to follow conversations. They also assist in helping you to be aware of sounds in your environment that could be important for your safety.
When hearing loss is left untreated, it impairs your ability to communicate. This can create distance between yourself and close family and friends, or create confusion in your professional or academic life. Subtly, hearing loss can even change your behavior patterns. Hearing issues can make once enjoyable activities like dining out or going to a party seem frustrating or difficult. While these emotional and social costs of untreated hearing loss often start out as feeling like “no big deal”, they are part of an elevated risk of depression, anxiety, and social isolation that hearing loss can provoke.
The good news is that there is amazing new technology available to help you maintain your quality of life with better hearing. If your hearing exam indicates hearing loss, it will be mapped to show the precise tone and frequency ranges you struggle with. Hearing aids are then programmed specifically to your needs. Better still, hearing aids come in a range of styles to match every lifestyle with discreet design and adaptive features. Using hearing aids to treat hearing loss not only improves your hearing, it boosts your quality of life and can improve aspects of your overall health, like cognitive performance.
Kenwood Hearing Centers
Want to get moving on that New Year’s resolution? Why not schedule your next hearing test with Kenwood Hearing Centers today? We’ve got six convenient locations in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, and Fairfield so there’s always an option nearby. Our customer-focused care and state-of-the-art testing means that you get hearing healthcare tailored to your needs. Kenwood’s knowledgeable staff of hearing specialists provides you with insight into improving your hearing – reach out to us today!