Are you surprised to hear that more Americans report getting a colonoscopy than a hearing test? Unfortunately, too many people wait years before they acknowledge some type of hearing loss or problems. Some may be embarrassed, many are in denial, others are scared of getting old. The other thing is that, often, hearing loss is so gradual it may not be detectable. But this “putting off” could have consequences to your long-term hearing health. See your doctor as soon as you experience any hearing problems. Obviously, we have some good reasons to take care of our hearing. Here are some of the top ones…in case you need a reminder.
We are heavily dependent on our senses to live, as well as give and receive information. Hearing well and accurately is so important, it could even be a matter of life and death. Consider what might happen if you didn’t hear someone calling for help or shouting a warning to you. Yeah, it’s that serious.
Even simple misunderstandings can happen if you’re hearing isn’t up to par. This can happen at home or on the job. It’s frustrating to not understand what people say to you. It can also be frustrating for everyone around you and can make socializing with you difficult. That said, if you can tell others that you have a hearing problem or get some help, communicating wouldn’t create the problems it might be now.
Enhances Life Experience
Hearing is not just about communication, it also carries much weight in the pleasure and entertainment areas of our lives. Hearing health can make a massive difference to our quality of life with simple pleasures like hearing a baby coo or your favorite artist’s new song. For me, listening to music, the sounds of nature, and the voices of my loved ones are all sounds I don’t want to do without due to hearing loss.
Helps Bring Personal Safety
We all depend on good hearing for personal safety, whether we are aware of it or not. In some cases, we are more likely to hear a potential threat to our safety before we see it. From crossing the road on foot, driving a car, smoke or intruder alarms at home or work, dangers are all around us. Keep in mind, this isn’t just your safety that’s at stake, especially if you have children or grandchildren running around. I can’t tell you how many times I have “heard” something alarming coming from my kids’ rooms or the backyard. Fortunately, in most cases, I was able to prevent accidents because of my good hearing.
The proportion of unemployed people who have hearing loss is higher than in the general population. Untreated hearing loss can have devasting consequences in the workplace and to an individual’s career. This brings us back to the communication issue that one might have with declining hearing. Consider that you have a job in the medical field or working with dangerous equipment or chemicals. What might happen if you didn’t hear the right instructions? Yes, it could be life-threatening. Therefore, hearing loss affects your job, as well as your personal life.
Good Mental Health
Unmanaged and untreated hearing loss can add to the brain’s cognitive load and lead to social isolation and even contribute to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Again, I recommend speaking to your doctor as soon as you notice any hearing changes. It could be something as simple as having ear wax build-up and be fixable with a quick remedy. However, if it’s something more serious, you will have caught it early and be able to work out a plan with your physician before it affects other areas of your health and life.
What If I’m Already Hearing Impaired?
While it’s important to get your hearing tested to prevent hearing loss, it’s also important to manage any current issues. This is a time to listen to your doctor and find solutions that work for you and your lifestyle. Training for the hearing-impaired is there for you through private and government programs.
Additionally, keep up to date with any industry innovations and learn more about how to manage your hearing aids or other equipment you use. There are some amazing technologies today that have been life-changing for many patients who experience mild to serious hearing loss.