When you think about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, do you think about your hearing? Your 5 senses work together to help you navigate through the world, and your hearing plays an important role. Whether you’re currently experiencing challenges or not, your hearing health is essential to your overall well-being.
Hearing loss is common, but there are still many people who feel embarrassed about getting the help they need. Understanding the importance of your hearing health can greatly improve your quality of life, both now and in the future.
So, let’s debunk the stigma of hearing loss to prevent serious health problems. Here are three common myths and the facts about hearing health:
MYTH #1: Only the elderly need to be concerned about hearing loss
FALSE! It is estimated that 4.6 Million Canadians experience hearing loss. While there is a sharp increase after the age of 40, 1 in 5 teens also have some type of challenge with their hearing. Early intervention is critical for both children and adults to experience improvements or even recovery in some circumstances.
MYTH #2: Hearing loss doesn’t affect your other senses
WRONG! Your 5 senses work in tandem with one another to help you identify and decode your surroundings. When one sense is not working well, it is often compensated by the others. Hearing loss that is not treated can lead to other challenges with your cognitive skills. In a recent study by John Hopkins Medicine, even a slight hearing impairment puts you at a greater risk of developing dementia. When your brain has to work overtime to decode sound, it also hinders the ongoing mental process of multitasking.
MYTH #3: Hearing aids are only for deaf people
NO! There are varying degrees of hearing impairments, and there are effective treatments for conditions that range from mild to severe. Waiting until your hearing is severe could actually cause more damage if left untreated. Some impairment is genetic, while others are related to external factors experienced throughout childhood or even during the adult years. The right hearing aid can greatly improve your quality of life even if you have a mild impairment.
MAY IS SPEECH & HEARING MONTH!
Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) has dedicated this month to raising awareness about communication health. This includes promoting early detection and prevention of communication disorders that affect hearing and speech.
On average it takes 10 years for an adult experiencing some type of hearing loss to actually get help. Unfortunately, within those critical years daily communication becomes increasingly challenging which often results in deteriorating health.