10 Things You Need to Know about Hearing Loss

Adrienne Tarnoff, hi HealthInnovations, Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist

Here are 10 simple facts you should read if you (or someone close to you) seem to be having trouble hearing.

  1. Hearing loss affects one in five people aged 12 and older, and is the third most common chronic medical condition among older Americans.
  2. Not being able to hear and understand can lead to increased anxiety, stress, and irritability.
  3. Relationships with spouse, family, and friends can be affected due to the frustration of not being able to communicate easily.
  4. People with untreated hearing loss are more likely to develop depression and dementia, in part due to withdrawing from social activities.
  5. People with untreated hearing loss are at greater risk for their safety, because they may not hear emergency sirens, smoke alarms, or someone approaching them from behind.
  6. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop hearing loss, probably due to the diabetes damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear.
  7. Regular use and/or abuse of some medications can increase a person’s risk of hearing loss.
  8. Left untreated, hearing loss can lead to a decreased ability to understand speech. This is especially true for people with moderate to severe loss.
  9. The good news: over 90 percent of people with hearing loss can benefit tremendously from the use of hearing aids.
  10. Hearing testing is painless and may be covered by your health plan. Be proactive and tell your doctor that you might be experiencing a hearing loss. He may be able to refer you to a provider in your area. Be sure to have your results faxed to your doctor’s office so they can keep a record of your yearly testing results.

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