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This is the time of the year that nearly everyone thinks of Healthy Hearing New Year’s Resolutions. You may have already scheduled your annual physical, your vision exam, your teeth cleaning, and your weigh and measure at the gym. Have you have thought about adding a hearing test to that list? It is recommended that everyone have a baseline hearing screening. This information is very important, especially when a sudden hearing loss occurs or if you are taking ototoxic medications.
If you already notice a decline in your hearing; then a hearing test should be part of your New Year’s Resolution! Research has found that hearing loss may be a symptom of some health problems, and it can contribute to others as well. The sooner hearing loss is addressed, the better.
Recent studies found that unaided hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. People who have less mental activity are more likely to develop these types of conditions. When people don’t hear well, they tend to withdraw from the activities they once enjoyed. This leads to depression and cognitive decay. If speech sounds are not heard correctly, people forget how they should sound. This causes them to misunderstand what is being said when they hear it. Seeking amplification right away helps preserve a person’s speech understanding.
Researchers have found that a low frequency hearing loss can be an indicator of heart problems. The lack of circulation can cause damage to the inner ear. That does not mean that everyone with a low frequency hearing loss has heart problems. It does mean that having your hearing tested is important. Eating a heart healthy diet and exercising can help prevent hearing loss by preventing heart and circulation problems, and keeping the blood flowing to those ears.
If a decline in hearing isn’t a health issue, it can be a social issue! How frustrated are you when you must ask everyone to repeat? Do you feel left out because you missed the punch line? Have you had any embarrassing moments because you can’t hear? Hearing loss can be very stressful. When you take care of your hearing and health, you are telling your loved ones you care about them too. Your hearing loss causes stress for them as well. They are always raising their voices, and repeating, yet you still don’t always understand.