October is National Audiology Awareness Month & National Protect Your Hearing Month!
Currently, there are approximately 38 million Americans living with some type of hearing loss. Hearing loss is an increasing health concern, as hearing is vital to mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Hearing loss can also have a negative effect on overall quality of life. There has been a lot of recent research showing that untreated hearing loss can cause depression, anxiety, an increased risk of falls, memory impairment, and even dementia.
What are some signs you may have hearing loss?
- Trouble hearing in conversation in a noisy environment
- Difficulty hearing the TV or on the phone
- Fullness, pain, ringing, or pressure in your ear
- Significant exposure to loud noises
- Difficulty hearing people talking to you without looking at them
If you think you have a hearing loss, you need to see an Audiologist. An Audiologist is a licensed and clinically experienced health-care professional who evaluates, diagnoses, and treats people with hearing loss and balance disorders.
An Audiologist is now required to earn a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), a 4 year post-graduate degree, in order to be licensed. This sets Audiologists apart from Hearing Instrument Specialists, who do not have post-graduate education and training in evaluating hearing comprehensively. Audiologists are specifically trained to use advanced equipment and procedures to accurately test, diagnose,
and treat your hearing. For this reason, they are the most qualified professionals to help you with your hearing. The first step in diagnosing your hearing loss is a hearing evaluation, completed by an Audiologist, to determine the degree of your hearing loss and the best options for your hearing loss.
Did you know?
- Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease.
- Noise and aging are the most common causes of hearing loss in adults.
- Congenital hearing loss means you are born with hearing loss.
- Ears not only help you hear, but also help you balance.
- Your sense of hearing depends on tiny hair cells in the inner ear that move to sounds. If these hair cells are lost, so is your hearing.
- Noise-induced hearing loss may happen suddenly or gradually. Being exposed to loud music or a noisy work environment can lead to hearing loss over several years—it depends on the hair cells mentioned above.
- Sound is measured in Decibels.
- The 3 bones in the middle ear, the Malleus, Incus, and Stapes, which together are called the Ossicles, are the smallest bones in the body. All
three together could fit on a penny.
- You never stop hearing, even when you sleep. Your brain just ignores the sounds.
- The eardrum is also called the Tympanic Membrane.
- Most people experiencing hearing loss are under the age of 65.
- Not all living creatures hear with ears. Snakes use jawbones, fish use water pressure changes, and mosquitoes use their antenna.
Protect Your Hearing:
- Turn down the volume
- Walk away from the noise
- Wear ear protection
- Get checked regularly
- Ditch the cotton swabs