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Hearing loss can be a devastating diagnosis for anyone, especially the older generation who may already be suffering from other natural ailments. The truth is, even the fittest of person can discover their hearing is fading as they get older. Many people, especially the younger generation, don’t think anything of it until the problem becomes serious or extreme. So, what can you do if you notice the problem is starting early on? When should you seek help and what can you expect from doctors?
According to research, age is currently the strongest indicator of hearing loss, minus preset medical conditions or accidents that cause it. 48% of Americans record that they have some degree of hearing loss. Natural hearing loss can begin as soon as 18, but most commonly occurs as late as 69 and older. The problem here is unless purposefully diagnosed, almost all people are unaware that they are experiencing any form of hearing loss and often wait until it becomes notably severe before they seek treatment.
However, the cost of diagnosing hearing loss early and seeking treatment from your doctors far out way the repercussions of living with it until it becomes too late. It’s statistically proven that those who treat hearing loss early excel not only in their social lives by being able to stay in touch with friends and family and continue doing everyday hobbies from enjoying music to listening to an instructor, but those who stay on top of treatments are more apt to become more active in their community, rather than seeking social isolation.
Often because of isolation from social endeavors and regular hobbies, seniors with hearing loss face additional emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress. This type of emotional damage can lead to other major issues as well. Research shows that those who wear hearing aids and treat hearing loss early on with their doctors prevent these emotional stress triggers because they are living their full, normal lives and can interact with the world around them. By staying active in their regular lives not only combats emotional stress and dementia but other issues that come from living sedentary lives such as stroke and heart attack risks, hygiene health and dietary health.
A study completed by John Hopkins revealed that seniors of all ages and gender are more likely to suffer from dementia if they already have hearing loss. The study followed over 600 test patients and found that those who suffer from severe hearing loss are five times more likely to suffer dementia. Those with mild hearing loss were two times more likely, and those with significant hearing loss were three times more likely to have dementia. While the scientists aren’t sure what physically connects the two diseases, researchers believe that social isolation caused by hearing loss could be a factor leading to early diagnoses of dementia.
Furthermore, not only do those who seek treatment see social benefits, that also see financial benefits. Those who treat hearing loss early with hearing aids are more likely to earn more than their clients without hearing support. This is because they can perform their job with more clarity, organization and the ability to hear instructions clearly, making them a wanted and trusted employee that the higher-ups can rely on. Because of this, they are more likely to see promotions and recognition than others at work because the treated hearing aid allows them to level up their work and financial game by completing tasks efficiently with fewer errors.
The truth is, when you can hear clearly, your mind and body are working together for optimal health, barring any other medical issues. By getting your hearing checked regularly and treating hearing loss, you can not only lead a more productive and social lifestyle, but you can also focus on any other issues you may face and continue to live your life to the best well into your older years. Even if you don’t think your hearing loss is prevalent now, considering early treatment may save you both time and money from larger concerns down the road. Consider consulting your doctor if you are seeing any changes in your hearing over time.