There are currently about 500 million people in the world who have some degree of hearing loss, and by 2030, the World Health Organization estimates that the number will reach about 630 million.
Being one of our most important senses, the ability to hear allows us to carry out our daily activities, some of them very important.
Unfortunately, the greater the degree of hearing loss, the lower our ability to communicate and the impact it has on life (even mild forms of hearing loss) should never be underestimated.
Recently, a number of studies have been published examining the link between hearing loss and mental health. There is an association between untreated hearing loss, cognitive decline and mental health.
Our ability to communicate with others is also impaired by hearing loss. Without hearing well in both ears, the understanding of the conversation is greatly diminished and more concentration is needed, so fatigue sets in faster.
As important as communicating with other people is the pleasure of listening to music, television and radio, going to the movies or the theater, or spending a day in the middle of nature. Untreated hearing loss makes us isolate ourselves or give up things that used to bring us satisfaction and happiness.
A recent study found that the highest percentage of unemployed people are hearing impaired. Untreated hearing loss can have a number of consequences in the workplace, and many who suffer from hearing loss and are employed say that promotion opportunities are limited or that they work in a position below their skills, knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, some people do not report their condition or use hearing aids at work. The same study also showed that life at work will be less stressful if hearing loss is managed by wearing a hearing aid tailored to your needs.
Signs of hearing loss may vary depending on the individual and their lifestyle, but these are the most common:
- Increasing difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, such as bars and restaurants
- Following the conversation requires more focus (and possibly lip-reading), especially when more people are talking
- People who know you well notice that your hearing is not as good as before
- You need to adjust the volume to listen to the TV, but you don’t always feel a better understanding
- Difficulty hearing clearly when you are in the car or using public transportation
For all of the above reasons, we want you to understand that hearing is important to your well-being and quality of life, and Hearstou is here to support you!
Infographic provided by Grason-Stadler, a trusted source in clinical audiometry
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