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New Year’s Resolution: Get Your Hearing Tested

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Terri Ellert, HIS

Terri has been in practice as a Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist for the past 11 years and is a co-founder of the Hearing Centers of Arizona.
Terri Ellert, HIS

Latest posts by Terri Ellert, HIS (see all)

The New Year is here and the tradition of New Years resolutions are a great opportunity to better your life with a fresh start! This year, fill your resolution list with easy, good-for-you goals. Of course, keeping your health in mind should be your biggest priority! Did you know that hearing loss is the 3rd highest chronic health condition in the United States? With approximately 48 million people in the U.S. suffering from hearing loss, it can’t hurt to have your hearing checked in 2020.

You May Have Hearing Loss and Not Know it

The scary thing is, hearing loss can sneak up on us. Because hearing loss develops gradually, often many people don’t even know they have it. Did you find your self having to ask people to repeat themselves at your New Years Party this year? Was it hard to understand your grandchildren over the holidays? Has your family been complaining recently that you turn the TV up too loud? These are all common signs of hearing loss. Fortunately, we at Hearing Centers of AZ are here to help.

Hearing Loss Affects More Than Just Your Ears

Ears are the tools of hearing, but did you know there’s more to it than just damage to your ears when a hearing loss is present. The loss of one’s hearing bleeds into a number of other aspects of their life, including their emotional and physical health, relationships and performance at work.

Hearing Loss and Your Relationships

Hearing loss has the potential to cause a rift in your closest and most cherished relationships. Little things such as saying “what” a lot during conversations and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, family members, and spouses’ starts to take a toll. The constant failure to communicate and understand each other clearly can damage your relationships, especially if you are in denial about your condition or refuse to seek help. It’s extremely common for people with hearing loss to detach themselves and refuse to go out and spend some time with other people as it becomes increasingly hard to keep up with conversation.

Decreased Job Performance

There are many things that could impact earnings. Someone who works with out hearing aids may easily miss out on crucial information at work. Employers tend to value those with shrewd attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can’t hear the details.

Mental Health Concerns

The issues at work and home take a toll on mental health over time. A 2014 study performed by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders discovered a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their study indicates an increased risk of depression. Another study by the Senior Research Group indicates that the chance of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a person with hearing loss does not use hearing aids.

Cognitive Functioning

Medical science has made a link between dementia and hearing loss. A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered that a person with minor hearing loss is twice as likely to develop dementia. Moderate hearing loss increases the risk by three times and an individual with severe hearing impairment is five times more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

An Increased Risk of Falls

Researchers speculate that there could be a few reasons that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of falls. One reason could be that with hearing loss have less environmental awareness to people, pets or other things going on around them. Many researchers point to cognitive overload as a hindrance to balance; simply put, this means that those with hearing loss are using more of their mental resources to hear and interpret speech and other sounds. This means those with hearing loss have fewer resources left over to dedicate to maintaining balance.

A New Life with Hearing Aids

The good news is hearing aids can improve your hearing and a greatly slow or reverse many of these conditions, but the sooner you act the better. Contact us at Hearing Centers of Arizona to set up a hearing test and make it a resolution to hear better in 2020.

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