Your Hearing Health is a Cornerstone of Your Overall Health

Your Hearing Health is a Cornerstone of Your Overall Health

In Hearing Health by Christa N. Smith, Au.D., CCC-A

Christa N. Smith, Au.D., CCC-A

The Cornerstones of Overall Health 

If you were to stop anyone on the street and ask them the fundamentals of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, no matter what kind of physical shape they themselves were in, pretty much anyone would tell you that the essential elements would include a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper rest. These are hardly a secret. Anyone who does not make a habit of these practices, does not do so out of ignorance. Everyone knows that vegetables are better for you in both the immediate and the long term than a hot fudge brownie sundae is. The reason that you sometimes choose the hot fudge brownie sundae over the vegetables is a balancing of other factors that for whatever reason at that moment outweigh the health concerns. 

Did you know that your hearing health is also a cornerstone of your overall health? It is less commonly known than diet, exercise, and proper rest, but if you think about it for even just a moment, it becomes obvious that it is true. And just as it requires intentionality to form healthy habits in those other regards, your hearing health will not miraculously maintain itself without proper attention. In fact, perhaps shockingly, a high percentage of people who suffer from hearing loss do not even know that they do so. 

The Consequences of Ignoring or Minimizing Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is much more common than many people would probably guess. Over 13% of the entire population of the U.S. over the age of 18 lives with some detectable degree of it. Perhaps 13% doesn’t immediately strike you as a large percentage of the population. It does mean that if you were at an average-sized wedding party—100 people—13 or 14 of those people would have hearing loss. That starts to feel like a lot. But consider these other factors to put these numbers into context. 

The percentage of the population that lives with hearing loss increases steadily with age, until finally, it is more likely to have hearing loss than not when you are over the age of 75. But it is important to keep in mind that hearing loss affects people of all ages and all walks of life. And among everyone with hearing loss, research shows that less than 20% of all of them respond to their hearing loss with the appropriate treatment. That means over 80% of everyone with hearing loss either ignores it, minimizes its severity, or maybe doesn’t even know that they live with it. 

How Can Someone Not Know If They Have Hearing Loss?

It only makes logical sense that if you have a disability you would know it, right? But what if the disability came on so incredibly gradually, so little at a time over such an extended period of years, that it was impossible to notice the shift? This is exactly how the vast majority of cases of hearing loss happen. It is incredibly rare that hearing loss is the result of a sudden accident or injury. And when that is the case then the sudden accident or injury provokes a sudden response. But without a sudden event, what is there to prompt a response? Instead, one turns the television up a little bit louder each day without noticing. 

This is why it is so often the case that it ends up being the responsibility of a loved one to point out that they are recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss. People often fear that it could be a potentially awkward conversation, but when you consider the consequences of failing to deal with hearing loss, it is obviously worth that small risk. 

Your Quality of Life Depends on You Talking Responsibility

Left untreated, hearing loss risks your physical safety, throwing off your sense of balance and troubling your sense of spatial orientation. It also makes it more difficult to navigate crowds or traffic. It will damage your relationships. Many people begin to withdraw socially before they constantly register why they are doing so. This withdrawal leads to loneliness and isolation, which lead to depression. Depression causes frustration and cognitive decline. 

Make an appointment with one of our specialists today. There is no more accurate way to get an objective analysis of exactly where your hearing health stands and what steps may be necessary to maintain your hearing health and overall quality of life.