Young african american woman wearing casual clothes smiling with

Celebrate World Hearing Day: Ear and Hearing Care for All! 

Did you know that March 3rd is World Hearing Day? This international campaign, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), is all about hearing health. This year’s theme is: Ear and Hearing Care for All which highlights the importance of accessing hearing healthcare. 

Hearing loss impacts of 48 million people in the United States. Nearly 1 in 5 people have some degree of impaired hearing so it is likely that you or someone you know experiences hearing loss. Though it is common, hearing loss still remains widely undertreated. In fact, only a third of people who could benefit from treatment, actually receive it. Untreated symptoms can further impair hearing, take a toll on relationships and social life, as well as increase health risks. This underscores the importance of intervening early and treating hearing loss which can transform your health and wellness. This March is a great reminder to schedule an appointment for a hearing test. 

Recognizing Hearing Loss Symptoms 

Hearing loss is a medical condition that reduces one’s ability to hear and process speech as well as sound. This creates various symptoms that range from mild to severe, depending on the degree of hearing loss present in each ear. Symptoms can occur gradually and can remain unnoticed for quite some time. Being able to recognize symptoms and intervening early can significantly transform your hearing health. Common symptoms include: 

  • Tinnitus: a ringing or buzzing noise in the ears that only you can hear. 
  • Sounds are muffled or distorted. 
  • Having a tough time hearing what others are saying in places with background noise. 
  • Frequently asking others to repeat what they said, speak louder, and/or slower. 
  • Finding yourself responding to others with “huh” or “what”. 
  • Turning up the volume on your TV or other devices like your phone, tablet etc. 
  • Lip reading to help identify individual words. 
  • Needing to move to a quieter space to be able to hear more clearly. 
  • One ear hears easier or better compared to the other. 
  • Pretending to hear, keeping conversations as short as possible. 

These symptoms make it difficult to participate in conversations. To cope, people often avoid conversations as much as possible. This includes skipping out on social activities and gatherings as well as spending less time with loved ones. Social withdrawal is a common effect of untreated hearing loss. This can strain relationships and social life and contribute to depressive symptoms. 

What to Expect from Treatment

There are effective ways hearing loss is treated. The first step towards treatment is getting our hearing health evaluated by a hearing healthcare specialist, like an audiologist. Hearing tests involve a process that is painless and noninvasive. This process includes wearing headphones while sounds are played at different pitches and frequencies. You will be asked to indicate what you can hear by raising your hand or pressing a button. Your results will be captured in real time and will show the softest sounds you are able to hear and the sounds that are more challenging. This information will identify the degree of impairment present in each ear. Once your hearing needs are established, your hearing healthcare provider is able to tailor treatment to meet your specific hearing needs. 

The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. Hearing aids are a type of electronic device that is designed to absorb and process speech as well as sound. This provides the ears and brain with ample support, maximizing one’s hearing capacity. Hearing aids help to alleviate symptoms, enabling people to hear and navigate conversations with greater ease. This not only strengthens hearing but also communication which has multifaceted effects including improving relationships, social life, and overall health. 

Prioritize Your Hearing Health This World Hearing Day 

World Hearing Day is the perfect time to commit to your hearing health. You can do this with one simple step: scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing loss does not have to be a barrier and with treatment, it is not. Treating hearing loss supports you living an active and full life! Contact us today to schedule a hearing consultation, we look forward to helping you prioritize your hearing health and wellness.