In Honor of World Hearing Day on March 3, Check Your Hearing!

In hearing loss by Ed Kocher, ACA, BC-HIS

Ed Kocher, ACA, BC-HIS

Check Your Hearing. That’s not just good advice – this March 3rd it is also the theme of World Hearing Day. World Hearing Day raises awareness about hearing loss and hearing protection, with an annual day that promotes hearing health. This year the focus is on one of the key components to staying on top of your hearing: regular hearing exams.

A hearing exam is a great way to make sure you catch hearing issues early, when they are easiest to treat. Even if you don’t currently have significant hearing loss, an annual exam establishes a hearing history so it is easier to not changes and problems when they arise. As we age, our risk of hearing loss increases and regular exams become increasingly important. Even if you’ve waited to have a hearing issue examined, getting started with regular hearing checks puts you in touch with treatment and solutions that can improve how you hear.

Hearing Exams Make A Difference

No one wants to face hearing loss, but modern treatment methods make hearing issues easier to manage and can greatly improve your quality of life. Taking action and getting a hearing exam is an important way to monitor your hearing health. Whenever you notice a change in your hearing, it’s important to talk to you hearing specialist about the issue. Ignoring or procrastinating about a hearing problem can cause it to worsen.

Hearing is a collaboration between your ears and your brain. Tiny mechanisms in your ear detect sound waves in the air and convert the waves into electrical signals sent to the brain. Exposure to harmful levels of noise can permanently damage the tiny “hair cells” in your ear that detect sound. The less sound waves these cells detect, the less information your brain receives to try to comprehend and locate the incoming sound. This shortage of sound information creates cognitive stress and our brains forge new neural pathways for processing sound, taking more mental resources and overwriting the cognitive pathways it used for healthy hearing.

This means that the longer you wait to treat hearing loss, the more your cognitive process changes. Treating hearing loss early means you start managing your hearing loss before too many cognitive changes have occurred in the way you hear. With early treatment, it is easier and less stressful to adapt to hearing aids and assistive devices, and truer to your natural hearing patterns.

Aging and Hearing Loss

As we get older, hearing exams become increasingly more important. Most permanent hearing loss accrues over a lifetime for people. The most delicate part of our auditory system is the tiny hair cells that live in our inner ear. These cells are responsible for detecting the vibration of sound waves and transmitting the information to the brain. These cells cannot be repaired or replaced if they are damaged, and so any injury that happens to them represents permanent hearing damage.

Through our life, the damage to our hearing is cumulative. Additionally, our hearing becomes more delicate as we age. At age 65, the risk of having significant hearing loss is roughly 1 in every three people. By age 75 that risk increases to 1 in 2 and by age 90 nearly 9 out of 10 people are facing hearing loss.

It’s never too early to start regular hearing exams. Creating a hearing health history lets your hearing specialist detect issues earlier and easier. Untreated hearing loss is connected to a wide range of health issues from depression to dementia and early treatment can help curb the negative effects of hearing loss.

It’s also never too late to come in for a hearing test. Effective treatment is available for most permanent hearing loss. Even if your hearing is something you have procrastinated on, a hearing exam is the first step to managing hearing issues. Make this World Hearing Day count – set up an appointment for your next hearing test today!

Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers

This season, observe World Hearing Day with a complete hearing exam at Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers. We’ve got over three decades of experience bringing the best hearing healthcare to the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area. Whether you’re ready for your next annual checkup or have a specific concern to address, Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers can help you have lifelong healthy hearing.