President’s Day is over and Memorial Day isn’t here yet, but at North Houston Hearing Solutions, today is another important day on our calendar. It’s World Hearing Day, a global awareness day to make sure we all take a moment to consider our hearing health. The big message we want to tell you about is how important it is to get your hearing checked.
Forty-eight million Americans have a hearing loss but many of them haven’t received treatment. It may not seem that important, but untreated hearing loss can have a major negative impact on your quality of life.
Your energy levels
Straining to follow conversations as certain words and sounds become inaudible can have a dramatic effect on your energy levels. You may find yourself both physically and mentally drained. Headaches may be a more common occurrence, leaving you feeling lethargic and unable to enjoy your work or social life.
Your brain power
Your brain is responsible for processing the sounds you hear. Just like a muscle that doesn’t get used, if your brain doesn’t continue to get a full range of sounds to process, it starts to weaken. This can make it harder for your brain to re-adjust when you do eventually get treatment for your hearing loss, and most importantly it can also lead to what is called cognitive decline. Cognitive decline caused by hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of dementia.
Communication is key when it comes to nurturing relationships with friends, family, and work colleagues. If you can’t engage in conversations as well as you used to because of your hearing loss, these relationships can begin to suffer. With the exhaustion that can come with untreated hearing loss, you may find that you avoid conversations altogether and isolate yourself from people.
Following verbal instructions or absorbing key information at a work meeting all become increasingly difficult when you can’t properly hear what’s being said. This can result in poor performance and missed promotions.
Your mental health
Fatigue, strained relationships, and difficulties at work are all consequences of hearing loss. This can all build up and lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Research from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has shown that adults with an untreated hearing loss have considerably higher healthcare costs. Looking at costs over a 10-year period, those with an untreated hearing loss had extra healthcare bills to pay of at least $22,000.
For children, the consequences can be even more far-reaching, as hearing loss can affect their language and speech development, their self-esteem, and their academic success, which can have repercussions well into their adulthood.
It’s important for adults and children alike to get their hearing health checked regularly, but this is especially true for people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes, which both increase the risk of hearing loss, and anyone over the age of 50 when hearing loss becomes more likely.
Make your hearing health a priority today. Call North Houston’s leading hearing specialist, North Houston Hearing Solutions, at 281-444-9800 to book your hearing test with one of our highly skilled Audiologists. If you do have a hearing loss, we’ll get you the treatment you need so you can enjoy healthy hearing for longer.
Dr. Lacey Brooks received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry in 2003, and earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009. She completed her clinical internships and residency at various facilities within Houston Medical Center. Dr. Brooks is a professional member of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA), and is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is also the vice president of the Louisiana State University Houston Chapter Alumni Association.