Hearing is one of the fundamental human senses. It is almost impossible to think about getting through your day without hearing. The ears play an integral role in your day-to-day activities and lifestyle.
In the morning, you likely need the help of an alarm to get up. Car noises will alert you when they get too close on the road, and if someone is looking for you, they’re likely to ring you.
Evidently, the gift of hearing has penetrated every facet of human lives. Unfortunately, many people give little-to-no attention to the state of their hearing. According to data from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), about half of all Americans aged 60 and above experience some degree of hearing impairment.
The most unfortunate bit about this startling statistic is many people are still living in oblivion when considering the importance of hearing. While most people keep period appointments with general physicians and specialists, not many are eager to visit an ear specialist. In fact, most cases reveal patients who went to an ENT specialist when they had too much damage.
Just like you need to see a dentist every so often, you should also make a point of visiting your ENT’s office periodically. If you’re young and don’t have a history of hearing loss or ear problems, you can keep an annual appointment. However, with age and other health factors, you may be required to see an ENT specialist regularly.
One of the major problems with late hearing loss diagnosis is there’s little that can be done. With early detection, however, you’ll likely have a vast array of care, management, and treatment options to choose from.
Additionally, late hearing loss tests can contribute to various dangerous and life-threatening conditions. Some of the conditions and diseases associated with poor hearing and eventual hearing loss include;
1. Hearing loss may contribute to dementia, Alzheimer’s, and general cognitive decline
In 2015, John Hopkins University sought to understand the relationship between hearing loss and cognitive impairment. The study included a sample size of 2000 adults aged 77 and above. Some of the study subjects had developing hearing impairment and those without. The study revealed a 24% chance of developing cognitive decline in subjects with hearing loss.
This study highlights the importance of regular ear checkups. Additionally, this data pointed to the need for more hearing clinics catering to ear problems. Are you looking to become a hearing aid provider in your region? Phonak can help you cater to hearing loss patients.
2. Loss of speech comprehension
Losing speech comprehension can be broken down into major relation factors. These relations are;
• The inability to effectively hear speech sounds.
• A declining ability to comprehend or process speech sounds by the brain resulting in limited practice.
This can further be attributed to the concept of using body organs and functions. Basically, the more you exercise an organ, the more proficient it gets. The opposite is also true; when you don’t exercise your speech comprehension skills, the lesser the brain’s ability to understand speech. Eventually, hearing loss could lead to the weakening of the brain’s comprehension and processing abilities.
Fortunately, exercises that help boost speech comprehension can reduce this effect. Various listening devices and software exercises can be used to exercise specific regions of the brain. As a result, you can gradually improve speech comprehension.
Hearing aids can also be used to manage and improve speech comprehension. For the hearing aids to be effective, they need to be used as early as possible. Hearing aids maintain a continuous stream of speech stimulation to the brain and keep your speech comprehension skills strong and sharp.
3. Lacking to hear fire alarms and warning signals
As already established, hearing is an important sense for all living creatures. There are countless cases where your safety is pegged on what you hear and from how far. Sure, you could be careful enough to avoid speeding vehicles when you stay out of the roads. However, there are numerous instances where hearing the sound could save your life.
A great example is fire alarms. Whenever there’s a fire indoors, smoke detectors and fire alarms are the first to go off. Based on when you hear the alarm, you could put out the fire or leave the safely evacuate the premises.
Unfortunately, most traditional alarms emit pure tone signals with a range of between 3000Hz to 4000 Hz. This frequency is hard to hear when you have hearing loss. In recent times, manufacturers and producers have been trying to account for people with hearing loss by adjusting the pure tone range. This, however, is a secondary measure, and you may not have the latest fire alarm or smoke detector.
As a cautionary measure, ENT experts advise you to install fire alarms calibrated to cater to persons living with hearing loss. Additional mental health exercises can also help improve your alert response mechanism.
4. Increased risk of falling and general imbalance
The Washington University reported that hearing loss could greatly affect your balance and increase your chances of falling. With reduced hearing, the brain exerts more pressure to comprehend the surrounding environment. As a result, you’ll likely suffer from cognitive overload, which could interfere with your ability to balance.
The same study proved that hearing aids on both ears could reduce the risk of falling in patients with hearing loss. Sound comprehension is an essential part of environmental comprehension, and hearing aids can be of great help in the area.
Regular ear checkups help improve your hearing and general quality of life. If you suspect you could be losing your hearing, you should make an appointment with your physician or ENT service provider for practical assistance. You can also search for “ear specialist near me” on google and find the nearest one to make it easy for you to go there for checkups.