January is here, and as we’re all settling back into our routines, we try to keep the resolutions we made over the holiday season. Many of us resolve to eat healthier, be more active, give up smoking, and look after our health. We visit our family doctor for an annual physical, screen for cancer, and get our vision checked. But if you want to make sure you’re healthy in 2019, there’s one more check you need to do: a hearing test!
A Resolution You Can Keep
Keeping new year’s resolutions can be tough, and after the first few weeks of January we often lose motivation. Maybe that piece of chocolate cake was just too tempting, or it was too cold to head to the gym. Whatever the case may be, don’t get bogged down by the resolutions you can’t keep. Make a resolution you’ll have no problem completing, and schedule an annual hearing test! You can check this resolution off the list after one short appointment, and you’ll be setting yourself up for a great year of good health.
How Hearing Loss Affects Your Relationships
You might not think hearing loss has a lot to do with your health. Missing a few words here and there doesn’t have a big impact, right? Wrong. Sadly, many people don’t realize the effects hearing loss has on your overall health and wellbeing.
Let’s talk about communication. When you have hearing loss, following conversations can be a struggle. Even in one on one conversations with a loved one, you spend more time straining to hear than actually listening to what’s been said. Communication breaks down, and this has a big impact on your closest relationships.
Have you been noticing a change in your ability to follow group conversations? When you’re not able to face the speaker, or you find yourself in a place with a lot of background noise, such as a restaurant or bar, your ability to hear is reduced, and you’ll find yourself grasping at odd words that don’t seem to make sense. Many people living with untreated hearing loss start to withdraw from social situations, since they can’t follow what’s been said, and often feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when they mishear something or answer inappropriately. This leads to social isolation, and can be the beginning of a battle with anxiety and depression.
How Hearing Loss Affects Your Health
Living with untreated hearing loss doesn’t just affect your ability to communicate, it also leads to a lot of negative health outcomes. Those with hearing loss are more likely to experience trips, slips, or falls, and are hospitalized more often than their hearing peers. You’re more likely to have an accident, since you can’t hear warning bells, or the car honking in your blind spot. Those with hearing loss also visit the doctor more, and have far higher health care costs.
Hearing loss is also linked to rapid cognitive decline. When you don’t treat your hearing loss, auditory regions of the brain aren’t being used, and all the cells responsible for hearing sounds in the registers you can’t hear don’t have any work to do. After a while these cells die, and neural pathways in the brain start to deteriorate. This paves the way for decreases in cognitive function, and allows for the growth of dangerous plaques and tangles in the brain, the buildup of proteins that cause Alzheimer’s Disease.
Annual Hearing Test
If you want to protect your hearing, as well do the right thing for your relationships and your overall health and wellbeing, then add an annual hearing test to your new year’s resolutions. Hearing loss is often gradual, and since it’s a slow process, you might not notice exactly when it starts. That’s why an annual test is so important, so that you’ll be able to detect hearing loss right away, and seek treatment before it negatively impacts your quality of life.
Call us today at Pacific Hearing Care to check off this new year’s resolution, and feel good about following through with your resolution to look after your health. Whether or not you need a hearing aid, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to spend 2019 hearing clearly.