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If you find that your spouse, friends, family or co-workers are constantly informing you that you need to get your ‘ears checked’. Or maybe this is the other way around, and you are telling someone close to you that they need to check their hearing. It should be known that there are ways to take simple and free online hearing tests in the comfort of your own home so that you can determine whether you are experiencing or are at risk for hearing loss.
Hearing loss is a serious condition that more people need to talk and write about – in a positive way. You might already know someone who does suffer from hearing loss and uses hearing aids for assisted hearing or you may know someone who is struggling with hearing loss but has not done anything to pursue treatment.
What you should know is that you will not find hearing devices solely on the elderly. There are 360 million people in the world with disabling hearing loss, which is equivalent to 5.3% of the world’s population . While 91% of cases are in adults, 9% of these cases are found in children. While hearing loss can be hereditary, hearing loss can affect almost anyone and could be due to a completely unknown cause or can be linked to trauma or illness .
Hearing – One of Our Natural Involuntary Senses
Hearing is one of our natural involuntary senses, you don’t ask your body to hear and you do not have to think about it – your body just does it. Hearing allows us to effectively learn, protect ourselves, and enjoy this beautiful world. Healthy hearing allows us to communicate, socialize with friends, alert us of trouble and even help us to relax. When your hearing declines, like it does for so many as we age, it can truly feel like much of your life is going downhill.
Hearing loss doesn’t just affect you physically, but it can impact your emotional and social health as well. The sad reality is that over 20% of individuals who would benefit from treatment delay on taking action until they cannot communicate even in the best of listening situations. Many people ‘point the finger’ of these symptoms on old age. But in truth, hearing loss can occur at any age. It’s especially important for hearing loss in children to be recognized as this negatively affect language development and learning.
On average, those who have a decline in hearing will wait over 10 years before being fit with their first set of hearing aids . Which is a pretty scary statistic as help is available and our new technology has made hearing devices very discreet and almost unrecognizable.
But what causes hearing loss and how did it become the third most chronic condition in older adults? Hearing loss has a number of contributing factors which include age, but also include genetics, noise exposure (all of those rock concerts!), chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and heart disease. Hearing loss is a very individualized experience and how an affected person copes will depend on many different factors, including whether the loss was an early or late onset, gradual or sudden loss, the severity of the loss, communication demands, and even personality .
Negative Effects of Hearing Loss
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Regardless of the combination of these presented factors, hearing loss has been linked to:
- Negative attitude towards life, anger and irritability
- Stress, frustration fatigue, and tension
- Depression, anxiety, social isolation, and feelings of loneliness
- Potentially unsafe situations due to decreased alertness
- Lower job performance
So What Can You Do?
Alpine Hearing Protection has a website which offers eight of the best hearing tests that you can do in the comfort of your own home without spending a dime! Here is the link to their website where you can take these online tests. If you are concerned with your results speak with your medical doctor on how you can proceed to a treatment for hearing loss. (Please don’t wait!).
Your ability to hear is an easy thing to take for granted. We may occasionally miss a few words in a conversation, but in general you may move around effortlessly in your everyday life, having conversations, talking on the phone or listening to the TV, without even paying it a second thought, hearing is an involuntary action that you body performs for you, just like how your heart beats and you breathe without thinking about it.
Things are not nearly as easy for someone with hearing loss. When hearing loss occurs, a very simple thing like following a conversation, hearing the doorbell or talking on the phone can become a real issue. Losing your ability to hear can be the onset for many different emotions, from worrying, sadness, depression and loneliness. Some may also feel tired, frustrated and irritable from having to concentrate so hard on a conversation just so that they can hear the words that are being spoken. Your hearing matters and we have solutions now, thanks to the latest technology which offers so many products that can help you or someone you know to overcome the difficulties of hearing loss. Recognize the signs and symptoms as early as possible, so that hearing loss doesn’t affect your life for any longer than it needs to.
Check out eight of the best hearing tests!
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