On World Hearing day, there is no better time to think about your own hearing and start to make steps towards taking action if there is potentially an issue. Hearing is the only one of our five senses which is always working, and yet we often take our hearing for granted and neglect to look after these vital organs.
It can take many years for a person to realise there is a problem with their hearing, and even longer to accept it. This is why it is so important to understand and take charge of your hearing health. Just as you should get your eyes tested every 2 years and visit the dentist every 6 months, hearing care professionals recommend you get your hearing tested every 2 years, and every year if you are over 40. Regular hearing checks can help identify changes in your hearing health and mean that you can get treatment much sooner. Below we have listed five big reasons to get your hearing tested:
Hearing loss affects every aspect of your life
Our five senses keep us connected with the world around us – they help us form relationships and generate perceptions of the world, so the prospect of losing one of these senses is a scary and often isolating experience.
If you are suffering with hearing loss, you may find that life has become a little less enjoyable - your relationships with loved ones may suffer, you may struggle to enjoy social situations, watching television or listening to music may have become difficult and you may have lost some of the enjoyment in some of life’s simple pleasures – going to the beach just isn’t the same if you can’t hear the waves crashing against the shore.
Hearing loss can affect your health and wellbeing
If you have a hearing loss, your brain needs to focus more of its energy on the simple task of hearing – making everyday situations, such as keeping up with conversations, much more tiring, as your brain works harder to try to understand or decipher what is being said. This can lead to exhaustion and can affect your ability to remember details.
Untreated hearing loss has also now been associated with a greater risk of developing dementia – one study has shown that the risk of developing dementia is up to 5x higher in people with severe untreated hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss has also been associated with higher risk of suffering from depression, and a higher risk of becoming dependent in day to day activities.
Those who get treatment for their hearing loss, on the other hand, have significantly reduced chances of developing these health issues.
You may not even know there is a problem
Often, hearing loss is a long slow process, so you may not even notice it is happening or may be in denial about the extent of your hearing loss. Often, it will be your family or friends who first encourage you to come for a hearing test. No matter how severe (or not) you believe your hearing loss may be, a hearing test can give you definitive answers and peace of mind – and start you on a journey to getting back all that your hearing loss has taken from your life.
Early detection improves quality of life
The earlier a hearing loss is detected, the sooner your hearing care professional can begin treating you and the sooner you can start enjoying a better quality of life again. A survey of hearing aid users found that 71% of users believe they should have got their hearing aids sooner, having seen improvements in social life, mental and emotional health and performance at work, among other benefits.
Hearing loss is surprisingly common
Hearing loss among adults in the UK affects as many as 1 in 6 of the population – that’s approximately 10 million people. Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors – it can be a normal part of aging or caused by experiencing high noise levels over a long period of time – whatever the cause, there really is no reason to feel embarrassed by hearing loss.
So, what are you waiting for? Book an appointment today with a hearing care specialist – many independent specialists offer a free initial assessment, so you really have nothing to lose
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