As Benjamin Franklin said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” If you are thinking about what you want to achieve this year, then addressing any hearing issues you might have is a great place to start. The best way to do this is to schedule an annual hearing test so that you have absolute peace of mind when it comes to your hearing health.
Why it’s never too early to think about your hearing
It’s best to start early because the process of hearing loss is slow, and difficult to notice. Some experts say it can start as early as in our 40s. For people in certain professions, getting regularly tested is of utmost importance, as they work in an environment where they are continually subjected to high-volume noise. Think about nightclub workers, and those who work in construction and farming. If you regularly commute on a noisy subway, this can also expose you to noise levels of up to 100 decibels. So you might be at a higher risk than you think.
If you are in any of these groups, then you should make a hearing screening a priority this year. For older adults, it may surprise you that hearing loss is actually the third most common health condition affecting Americans over 60. Regardless of your age or profession, getting a basic hearing screening to establish your baseline hearing level is a good idea, particularly if you have had any unusual ear symptoms or noticed any changes in the way you hear sounds.
Benefits of treating hearing loss early
There are many benefits to focusing on your hearing loss and taking steps to treat it if necessary. If you are tested, and pass the initial screening, there is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are currently in good hearing health. You will also establish a ‘baseline’ hearing level–a medical record that future hearing screenings can be compared to by your doctor or audiologist. If it transpires that you do have hearing loss, it’s better to know now rather than five years down the line. Because you will be aware of the extent of the issue, you will be better equipped to deal with it. Knowledge is power.
More specifically, treating hearing loss can also prove beneficial in two large areas of your life – your relationships and your career.
Better relationships with loved ones
The quality of your relationships with loved ones will start to improve when you address the hearing loss that may be creating communication difficulties. You will have better one-on-one conversations. Hearing loss makes it difficult to hear certain sounds (like the difference between ‘b’ and ‘p’ for instance) which can make everyday conversations a chore. When fitted with a modern hearing aid, you will be able to recognize the difference between these sounds, which makes it easier to understand your partner when they are talking to you. Conversation flows naturally again, and you are able to share jokes and anecdotes with your partner at the same rhythm and pace as you did when you first met each other.
You will also be able to engage in more commonly enjoyed activities with your partner. For those with hearing loss, it can be easy to forget all the times you shared with your partner that involved excellent hearing – watching a movie at the theatre, going to coffee in a hip café, or catching up over lunch. With renewed hearing abilities, you can continue to pursue all the activities that meant so much to you and your partner.
Improved performance at work
Hearing aids can also improve your performance in the workplace. You’ll be able to hear better in crowded environments, which means you can tackle any conference, work party or open office that comes your way. You’ll be able to understand and keep up with the 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.
It can be stressful to be the co-worker who is always asking others to repeat themselves when there are a number of pressing tasks to achieve. Good communication is essential for teams to function at their best, and the best teams are founded on great communication.
Hearing aids can also protect you from the cognitive overload you get when trying to decipher conversations in loud environments with hearing loss. Cognitive overload is associated with reduced cognitive performance, which can be problematic if you are required to work deeply on brain-taxing tasks all day.
For the new year, make an appointment with Lifestyle Hearing Solutions
If you have been living with untreated hearing loss, make this the year that you take action. For a comprehensive hearing exam, contact Lifestyle Hearing Solutions today!