Benjamin Franklin once famously said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That advice was originally meant for fire safety, but it is equally applicable for hearing loss. Keeping on top of your hearing health will reward you many times over in the future.
Why it’s never too early to think about your hearing
The process of hearing loss is slow and gradual which makes it difficult to notice. Some people say it can start when we are in our 40s.
Some occupations are at a high risk of hearing loss and will benefit from regular hearing tests as the work involves being in an environment which is continually subject to high volumes of noise. Think about nightclub workers, those who work in construction and farming.
And it’s not just those who work in noisy environments. Office workers who regularly commute on a noisy subway are also at risk. Regular commuting by subway can expose you to noise levels of up to 100db. So, you might be at a higher risk than you think. If you are in any of the groups, then you should make a hearing screening a priority this year.
For older adults, hearing loss is actually the third most common health condition afflicting Americans over 60. So those who are 60 should also consider themselves more likely to develop hearing loss and should take appropriate steps.
Benefits of treating hearing loss
There are many general benefits to taking charge of your hearing health. Even for those who take a hearing test and find no evidence of hearing loss, that is still data which will be valuable for your future health professional. You establish a ‘baseline’ hearing level and paper trail so that future hearing screenings can be compared to the previous year’s results. If you do have hearing loss, then it’s better that you know now than five years down the line. Because you are aware of the extent of the issue, you and your audiologist are best equipped to deal with it.
More specifically, treating your hearing loss can benefit your life in two ways: Your relationships and your productivity at work.
Improve communication with loved ones
Addressing and treating your hearing loss can bring some key benefits to your relationships. One to one conversation will improve dramatically. As hearing loss makes it difficult to hear certain consonants, when you get this ability back, conversation becomes a pleasure again. When fitted with a modern hearing aid, you are able to recognise the difference between these sounds, which makes it easier to understand your partner when they are talking to you. You are able to joke around and share stories with your partner at the same rhythm and pace as you used to. Partners also benefit. No longer are they required to continually repeat themselves so you are able to understand what they are saying.
You will also be able to engage in more commonly enjoyed activities with your partner. For those with hearing loss, it’s all too easy to forget all the times you shared with your partner that required good hearing – catching up over coffee, watching a movie at home without captions, listening to a good song. With hearing reinstated you can continue to pursue all the activities that you have in common with each other.
Improve performance and prospects at work
The ability to receive and exchange information in a busy work environment will benefit you greatly in your career. You’ll be able to deal with any conference, work party or open office environment that comes your way. Banter, inside jokes and across-the-room commands that come with working in a fast-paced environment like a commercial kitchen or even stock market floor will become easier to handle. The best teams are founded on communication, and good communication comes from a good understanding of your co-workers need. This often requires you to receive information once and act promptly based upon it.
Hearing aids can also limit cognitive overload, something those with hearing loss often experience when trying to follow conversations in loud environments. This is associated with reduced cognitive performance which can be problematic if you are required to work deeply on brain-taxing tasks all day, and are chasing that promotion.
Some studies even suggest that untreated hearing loss can lead to an exponential reduction in your earning power. So, don’t delay, treat your hearing loss today.
Have questions or would you like to schedule an appointment?
If you think you might have hearing loss, it’s time to get tested. If you’d like to discuss anything related to hearing loss or make an appointment, call or chat with us today.