Across the entire population in this country, as many as 10 percent of Americans have some degree of hearing loss, caused by a wide variety of factors such as the aging process, exposure to loud noises, occupational hazards, infections or pathology, such as a tumor on the hearing nerve, sports injuries, accidents, or even cotton swabs that puncture the eardrum or cause trauma to the ear.
In a 2010 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that the prevalence of hearing loss among 12-19 year olds, especially high frequency hearing loss, increased significantly from 14.9% to 19.5%, between 1988 to 2005. This age group is not usually considered by the public to be at-risk for hearing loss, but in an era of earbuds and iPods, even teenagers can struggle with hearing loss.
This can lead to behaviors such as turning up the volume of television, cupping the ears to ask people to repeat, not responding properly when called, or mishearing parts of conversations.
Why Should We Treat Hearing Loss?
The fallout of untreated hearing loss can be even more far-reaching. The hearing impaired individual, often starts to disconnect from friends and family and refrain from participation in social, business and civic events due to fear of embarrassment. This in turn can then lead to isolation and depression, loss of earnings & advancement in the workplace, and crate safety issues at home and while driving.
For students, this can mean missing key portions of a lesson, leading to lower test scores and misdiagnoses of conditions like ADD or other learning disabilities. Hearing loss can have devastating long-lasting effects that often are not addressed until well after the damage has been done.
Treatment for hearing loss & management, for many, begins with a professional hearing health consultation & test of the individual’s hearing. Properly fitted & adjusted digital hearing systems can be very small, discreet and very effective, especially compared to the hearing aid technology available 10-15 years ago. But, quality of life does not improve until the first step is taken-scheduling that test with a qualified, experienced hearing health professional.
Beltone Hearing Care & Audiology has been providing these services to the North Jersey region for more than 30 years. During our consultations we enable the hearing impaired individual to experience the benefit of improved hearing in real life environments and find out what they have been missing.