woman cupping ear to hear better while smiling

Celebrate World Hearing Day: Ear and Hearing Care for All! 

Did you know that March 3rd is World Hearing Day? A global call to action organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), this year’s theme is Ear and Hearing Care for All. This emphasizes the range of hearing healthcare resources and solutions that are available to support your hearing health.

You can celebrate World Hearing Day by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test which is the first step towards treatment. Treating hearing loss can transform your hearing and everyday life.

Hearing Loss Facts

Hearing loss is one of the most common health issues that people experience today:

  • Over 48 million people have some degree of hearing loss.
  • 15% of adults have hearing loss.
  • The prevalence of hearing loss is twice as common as diabetes or cancer.
  • 1 in 3 adults, ages 65-74, have hearing loss.
  • 1 in 2 adults, ages 75 and older, have disabling hearing loss.
  • WHO estimates that over 1 billion people globally are at high risk for developing noise induced hearing loss.
  • 24% of hearing loss is caused by hearing hazards experienced in the workplace.
  • Over 50 million people are regularly exposed to dangerous noise levels that can damage hearing.

These statistics highlight how pervasive hearing loss is and the increased risk people face.

What are the signs?

Though hearing loss is common, it is often undertreated. On average, people wait 7 years to address their hearing loss symptoms. It is important to recognize signs of hearing loss so that you can intervene early and get these symptoms treated. Common signs include:

  • Tinnitus: a ringing or buzzing like noise heard in one or both ears.
  • Sounds are muffled or distorted.
  • Difficulty hearing in places with background noise (like restaurants or parties).
  • Lip reading to identify individual words.
  • Asking others to repeat what they said, speak louder, and/or slower.
  • Often responding with “huh” or “what”
  • Needing to turn up the volume on the TV, phone, or other electronic devices.
  • Being able to hear more clearly out of one ear compared to the other.
  • Moving to a quieter space to hear more clearly.
  • Pretending to hear to get through a conversation.
  • Struggling to hear on the phone.
  • Feeling left out of conversations.

These symptoms can range from mild to more severe. To cope, people often avoid conversations as much as possible. This can look like spending less time with loved ones, skipping social events, participating less in hobbies etc. Social withdrawal is a major effect of untreated hearing loss. Not only can this impact relationships and social life, but it can also take a toll on mental health by contributing to the development of depressive symptoms.

How is hearing loss treated? 

Treating hearing loss starts by having your hearing tested. Conducted by hearing healthcare specialists, hearing tests involve a painless process that measures hearing capacities in both ears. The most common test is known as pure tone audiometry testing. This involves wearing headphones (in a soundproof booth or room) while sounds are played at different pitches and frequencies. You will be asked to indicate what you are able to hear by pressing a button or raising your hand. Results will be captured in real time and show the softest sounds you are able to hear as well as the sounds that are more difficult for you to detect.

This identifies any hearing loss and the degree of impairment in each ear. Once your hearing needs are established, your hearing healthcare provider is able to tailor treatment to meet those needs. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. These are electronic devices that are designed to absorb and process speech and sound. This provides the ears and brain with ample support which alleviates hearing loss symptoms and maximizes hearing capacity. Hearing aids not only strengthen hearing but also communication, relationships, social life, and health which transforms quality of life.

Schedule a Hearing Test for World Hearing Day

This March is a great reminder to prioritize your hearing health and wellness. You can do this by scheduling an appointment to have your hearing tested. Treating hearing loss can support living an active life that you can be fully engaged and present in. Contact us today to schedule a hearing consultation.