May is Better Hearing Month
On average, most Americans consider hearing loss a condition that is simply associated with aging, and don’t know how to recognize the condition or who is qualified to diagnose and treat the condition. In an effort to raise public awareness for the growing number of Americans suffering from hearing loss, Mile High Hearing in conjunction with the American Academy of Audiology is celebrating Better Hearing Month this May.
Hearing loss currently affects approximately 15% of American adults, or 37.5 million people, according to the National Institutes of Health. Although difficulty hearing is commonly associated with the aging process, more than half of all people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. With the increased use of personal music players and earbuds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing.
As part of Better Hearing Month, Mile High Hearing encourages you to be more aware of your hearing health. In general, hearing loss tends to be a gradual process. That’s why many people with hearing loss often do not know they have hearing loss until it has progressed to a significant degree. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four American adults who say they have good or excellent hearing actually have hearing loss.
What are the common causes of hearing loss?
There are many causes to hearing loss including: exposure to loud noises, ear infections, genetics, illness, certain medications, head injury, and deterioration due to normal aging process. Hearing loss can affect people of all ages—newborns, infants, children, teens, adults, and the elderly.
Who diagnoses and treats hearing loss?
An audiologist is a highly educated and clinically experienced healthcare professional who specialize in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders.
Mile High Hearing’s audiologists have a variety of specialties that include:
- Prescribing and fitting hearing aids
- Treating and managing tinnitus
- Providing hearing rehabilitation training like auditory training programs and listening skills improvement
- Hearing protection education and fitting
- Designing and implementing hearing conservation programs
How do I know if I have hearing loss?
You may have a problem with your hearing and need to see an audiologist, if you;
- have trouble hearing conversation in a noisy environment such as a restaurant,
- are unable to hear people talk to you without looking at them,
- have ringing/buzzing/roaring/etc. in your ear of head.
The first step in identification and treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation by an audiologist. However, like mentioned above, many people are unaware of their existing hearing loss, so it is important to have your hearing tested by an audiologist to obtain a baseline measurement of hearing.
Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine the best treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation. Treating hearing loss is linked to many benefits including: improved quality of life, decreased risk of depression, decreased risk of dementia, decreased risk of fall and hospitalization, and much more.
The audiologists at Mile High Hearing encourage you to take charge of your hearing health and have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist…celebrate the sounds of your life!