Did you know that March 3rd is World Hearing Day? Launched by the World Health Organization (WHO), this global campaign raises awareness about hearing loss. Hearing loss is one of the most common medical conditions that people experience today. In fact, an estimated 1 in 5 people have some degree of impaired hearing in the United States.
The theme for this year’s World Hearing Day is Ear and Hearing Care for All which highlights the importance of accessing hearing healthcare. You can celebrate World Hearing Day by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test so you can learn more about your hearing needs!
Recognizing Hearing Loss Symptoms
It takes an average of 7 years for people to address hearing loss symptoms. Hearing loss typically occurs gradually so people may not immediately notice symptoms. Being able to spot early signs helps you intervene early. Common symptoms include:
- Having trouble hearing on the phone.
- Struggling to keep up with conversations in spaces with background noise (restaurants, parties).
- Experiencing tinnitus which is a ringing or buzzing like noise (in one or both ears) that only you can hear.
- Sounds are muffled or distorted.
- Lip reading to help identify individual words.
- Frequently asking others to repeat what they said, speak louder, and/or slower.
- Finding yourself responding with “huh” or “what” often.
- Needing to move to a quieter space to be able to hear more clearly.
- Being able to hear better out of one ear compared to the other.
- Feeling exhausted or drained after conversations and social interactions.
- Pretending to hear to get through a conversation.
These symptoms can be mild to more profound, really taking a toll on communication. Conversations become challenging to engage in and people often avoid them as much as possible. This can look like skipping out on social activities, spending less time with loved ones, and participating less in hobbies. Social withdrawal is a common effect of hearing loss which not only impacts relationships and social life, but can take a toll on mental health. If you recognize any of these symptoms, it is important to have your hearing tested.
Accessing Hearing Healthcare Services
It is important to know that there is an array of hearing healthcare services, resources, and solutions that are invested in transforming your hearing health and wellness. This includes:
- Hearing evaluations: hearing tests are painless and noninvasive. They are used to diagnose hearing loss and understand what your hearing needs are. They involve a process that measures hearing capacities in both ears. This identifies any hearing loss and the degree of impairment you could be experiencing. It is recommended to get your hearing tested regularly so that you can monitor your hearing health and identify any changes you may experience over time.
- Hearing protection: loud noise exposure (one time or consistently) is a common cause of hearing loss. It is estimated that over 50 million people are regularly exposed to hazardous noise levels. Additionally, 24% of people work in environments that are dangerous for hearing. Noise induced hearing loss is totally preventable and an effective way to protect your hearing is by wearing hearing protection. Hearing healthcare specialists are able to make custom hearing protection (like earplugs) that offer a perfect and comfortable fit.
- Tinnitus management: tinnitus is the experience of hearing a ringing or buzzing like noise in one or both ears that only you can hear. Though tinnitus is a common symptom of hearing loss, it can also occur without hearing loss. In fact, 20 million deal with chronic tinnitus. There are effective ways tinnitus can be managed with the help of a hearing healthcare specialist, this includes tinnitus retraining therapy.
- Hearing aid repair: hearing aids are an essential item for millions of people with hearing loss. These devices can be impacted by daily wear and tear and may need repair work over time. Hearing healthcare providers often provide in-house repairs as well as professional cleaning.
These services can treat hearing loss, help maintain hearing aids, help manage symptoms like tinnitus, and support you with preventative care.
Celebrate World Hearing Day by Scheduling a Hearing Test
This March is a great opportunity to prioritize your hearing health adn wellness. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation!