An astounding statistic is that nearly 70 percent of people with hearing loss do not seek treatment or see an audiologist about getting fitting for hearing aids, despite the fact that doing so could significantly improve their lives. May is hearing aid awareness month, so if you know someone who could benefit from hearing aids now is the time to sit down with them and discuss options for improving their lives.
Age related hearing loss is called presbycusis, and it is irreversible. With recent research suggesting that hearing aids could help slow cognitive impairment in elderly people, the benefits of wearing hearing aids have never been greater. Older adults with hearing loss have a rate of cognitive decline up to 40% faster than those with normal hearing.
For hearing aid awareness month, it’s important to look at some facts of hearing loss:
- 20 million Americans suffer from hearing loss
- For most people, hearing loss begins to deteriorate at age 30 and worsens with each decade
- An estimated 2-3 of every 1,000 children are hard of hearing or deaf
- Hearing loss in children can stunt learning and development
- At age 65, one out of three people has hearing impairment
- As hearing loss increases, a corresponding decline in compensation also occurs.
- In adults, the most common causes of hearing loss are noise and aging.
- The number one disability caused by wars is sudden noise induced hearing loss due to exposure to gunfire and explosions
- Earwax buildup, head injuries, and objects inside ear can also cause hearing loss.
- After heart disease and arthritis, hearing loss is the third most common public health issue
During hearing aid awareness month, it’s important to remember that, despite the prevalence of the condition, there is still a stigma attached to it. This month should be a time to stamp out any misconceptions. Hearing loss occurs in all age groups and is not only because people are old. People who suffer from hearing loss are not mentally ill. They are not less intelligent. Hearing aids themselves have drastically improved over the years and are no longer large or unsightly.
Now that you have some basic facts about hearing loss, be sure to share them and discuss them. The more this issue is talked about the more accepted it will become.