In light of Wednesday, March 3, having been World Hearing Day, I wanted to take a moment to discuss why promoting hearing care is more crucial today than ever before.
The World Health Organization organizes World Hearing Day to help raise awareness of ear conditions and hearing loss and promote healthy hearing and hearing care worldwide.
According to their website, “Each year, WHO decides the theme (for world hearing day) and develops evidence-based advocacy materials such as brochures, flyers, posters, etc.,” to view some of these materials, please click here. This year’s theme is “Hearing Care for All,” which I believe is imperative, given the worldwide issue of promoting proper hearing care.
Why Do So Many People Put Off Having their Hearing Checked?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Hearing aid users wait, on average, 10 years before getting help for hearing loss.” There are a few main reasons why this occurs: the main one being the stigma surrounding hearing loss and hearing aids.
For us, as audiologists, it’s so shocking to think that these outdated ideas still exist in 2021 since we have witnessed an incredible leap in advanced hearing technology from the start of our professions as hearing care experts.
Hearing aids are no longer bulky and unsightly; most are now practically invisible with incredible Bluetooth capabilities.
Hearing loss is often still associated with seniors and is believed to be a sign of aging. Although aging is a cause of hearing loss, we now see more young people in our office with hearing challenges than ever before. Hearing loss can affect all people of all ages, with some groups being at higher risk, so it’s important to remember that no one is immune!
So, How Does This Affect Me?
Whatever their reason is, many people still put off getting hearing assessments, despite the proven benefit to both physical and mental health. So, you may be wondering, what is my role to play in this?
If you’re one of the many that are yet to address their hearing concerns due to an outdated stigma, now would be the perfect time to schedule an assessment. An initial appointment will be a baseline for any future test to determine whether your hearing ability has changed.
Or, perhaps you are a loved one of someone who needs to seek help. Here’s where gentle encouragement and education on the subject could help them take the first step toward better hearing.
Many people are unaware of the adverse effects on cognitive functions and the increased risk of diseases such as dementia when choosing to allow their hearing loss to go untreated.
What Should My Next Step Be?
Throughout my years of treating patients with hearing loss, I have often asked myself why we regularly have our eyes tested, our teeth checked, and regularly test our cholesterol but avoid hearing exams?
It’s time to normalize hearing loss and give ourselves the healthy and happy life we deserve.
Before reaching out to our office, if you would like additional information on helping a loved one with hearing loss, please click here.
If you decide that setting up a hearing consultation for you or your loved one is something you would like to do, please contact us here.
Let’s knock the stigma on the head and say hello to healthy hearing.