Over 34 million Americans suffer from hearing loss that affects their daily life. That’s more than 11% of the US population! We usually associate hearing loss with advancing age, but as we consider the statistics, we see that hearing loss affects anyone, at any age. It is true that hearing loss is more common in older adults, affecting approximately 30% of adults over age 60, but a startling fact is that 65% of those with hearing loss are actually under age 65. Hearing loss is actually the third most common health problem in the United States today.
Hearing is important for our emotional well-being, personal safety, enjoyment of everyday activities, and interactions with others. In other words, hearing loss can decrease your quality of life if left untreated! Studies have linked hearing loss to various problems such as depression, loneliness, stress, anxiety, other health problems, and even reduced earning power.
Because hearing loss typically occurs so gradually, the effects may not be noticeable at first. In fact it’s difficult to recognize a change in one’s own hearing. Usually it’s a family member, friend, or a co-worker who will notice the hearing problem and point it out. Hearing loss affects not only the person with the hearing loss, but family members and friends as well. Fortunately, in most cases, hearing can be improved with hearing instruments and/or some type of medical treatment (i.e. medication or surgery).
What causes hearing loss?
Exposure to excessive loud noise is the number one cause of hearing loss. Many work settings and recreational activities are extremely noisy and can cause damage to your hearing. Other causes include: ear infections, ear disease, trauma to the ear, medication side-effects, aging process, illness (i.e. mumps, rubella, meningitis), and heredity.
What are the signs you may have hearing loss?
So how do you know if it’s time to have your hearing evaluated? Consider the following:
- Do people seem to mumble or speak too softly?
- Are you straining to hear when others talk to you?
- Do you feel frustrated when you are trying to communicate in a group situation?
- Are family members or friends telling you that they often have to repeat things they say?
- Do you find yourself avoiding social activities because of difficulty hearing/communicating?
- Do you find that you need the volume turned up on your TV or radio?
- Are you having difficulty hearing in noisy places like a crowded restaurant?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it is time to schedule an appointment with an audiologist to have a comprehensive hearing evaluation. This is the first step to finding a solution for hearing loss and improving your quality of life! Just think about how much better it would be for you, your family, and your friends if you could hear and understand more! You would feel more relaxed rather than being stressed and tired after a meeting, a long conversation, or a night out at a restaurant. No more feeling embarrassed because of misunderstanding or having to ask for people to repeat what was said. Improved hearing can make a positive difference in your life!
If you suspect you may be experiencing a hearing loss, call us today to schedule your evaluation and take that first step! At Carolina Forest Hearing Center, we are committed to improving the quality of life for people with hearing loss, because there is so much in life to hear!
For more information, contact Dr. Terry Shumway, Au.D.
3885 Renee Drive, Suite 102
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29579