Millions of Canadians suffer from hearing loss — a serious health concern, and one of the top health issues in Canada. In some circumstances, hearing loss happens naturally or through trauma, but in many cases, it can be avoided. To learn more about hearing loss, what causes it, and what you can do to prevent it, we’ve put together this short guide of facts to keep you well informed.
Age is a Leading Cause
As we age, our ear structure slowly changes which can negatively impact our hearing. Gradually, our hearing will diminish. Since the symptoms are not always apparent until it’s too late, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your hearing capacity. Having a hearing test done every two years can also ensure that any early decline is detected and treated.
Young People Also Lose Their Hearing
Although age is a leading cause of hearing loss, young people can lose their hearing too. Children, teens, and adults are all susceptible to hearing loss, no matter their age. In fact, hearing loss in school-aged children is on the rise due to noise exposure. This can be of increasing concern as children that experience hearing loss can struggle with speech and language development, along with school performance and both social and emotional development.
Excessive Noise Exposure is Damaging
If you love playing your music on full blast or you work in a very loud environment, you are more susceptible to hearing loss. Constant exposure to loud noises can cause your inner ear to become permanently damaged. Considering noise related issues are preventable, it’s essential to reduce your exposure whenever you can.
Some Medications are Linked to Hearing Loss
There are a number of disorders and diseases that can lead to hearing loss, such as autoimmune diseases and tumours. Scientists are also seeing more and more people suffering from hearing loss caused by the medications they are taking. Certain drugs have been directly linked to permanent hearing loss — it’s important to talk to your health care professional about your current medications and whether or not they are of concern.
It Can Be a Genetic Syndrome
Did you know that you can inherit a gene that influences hearing loss from your parents? In most genetic cases, the hearing loss is developed right at birth, but in some instances, it can evolve over time. If one of your parents has symptoms of hearing loss, it’s important to get tested as frequently as possible to check for any potential precursors.
Hearing Loss Impacts the Quality of Your Life
Losing your hearing can significantly impact your quality of life. Many people who are living with this often struggle with basic day-to-day tasks. They may also find it difficult to communicate effectively with friends and family, potentially leaving them feeling more isolated and alone. Additionally, it can become a major safety risk, as it makes hearing alarms and sirens more difficult to hear. Fortunately, hearing aids can help by allowing you to hear clearly and engaged and interact more with the world around you.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Dementia
Hearing loss can also lead to other health issues. In fact, a number of studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can contribute to further cognitive problems. Scientists have discovered that the area of the brain that is associated with hearing is also the same area that’s connected with Alzheimer’s. What they have found is that a loss of brain mass occurs when one struggles to hear. Luckily, brain mass can be stimulated and neural connections regrown by wearing a hearing aid that works to receive more sound signals.
Treatment is Available
Depending on your level of hearing loss, treatment options may be available for you. That’s why it’s crucial to talk to a doctor as soon as you notice any changes to your hearing. They’ll assess your symptoms, determine the cause, and help you get the exact treatment you need. Ignoring the early signs will only make set you back. So if you haven’t had your hearing checked in the past two years, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Don’t take your hearing for granted — get a free hearing test today at our clinic in Ottawa. We have certified hearing instrument specialists onsite, and we also offer quality hearing aid solutions at an affordable price. Get peace of mind and your life back with one of our hearing aids! To learn more or to book your free hearing test, visit our website at eHearing.com.