Over 36 million American adults have some degree of hearing loss which is over 4 times the amount of people who live in New York City.
The statistics are shocking and even more so knowing that over half of those 36 million Americans are under the age of 65. Hearing loss is an increasing health concern in this nation that is often preventable. Taking time to see an audiologist for regular hearing screenings and knowing the signs of hearing loss can protect your hearing. Make an appointment with an audiologist this October during National Audiology Awareness Month.
“Hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises, ear infections, trauma, or ear disease; harm to the inner ear and ear drum, illness or certain medications, and deterioration due to the normal aging process,” explains Dr. Carla Pielmeier, audiology manager at The Good Samaritan Hospital. “The amount of noise Americans are exposed to today plays an important role in the recent increase of hearing loss across the nation. It is no longer just a health concern for seniors.”
Have you stopped going to restaurants and social gatherings? Do you keep to yourself when in noisy environments? If you answered yes, you may have a hearing problem. Some tell signs of hearing loss are: trouble hearing conversation in a noisy environment such as restaurants, difficulty or inability to hear people talking to you without looking at them, and/or a constant pain or ringing in your ears.
On average, most Americans don’t know how to recognize the first signs of hearing loss or which health professional is qualified to diagnose and treat the condition. If you think you may have a hearing loss, you need to see an audiologist. An audiologist is a licensed and clinically experienced health-care professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders. The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is to get your hearing evaluated by an audiologist. A hearing evaluation will determine the degree of hearing loss you have and what can be done. Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine the best treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation. For more information on hearing loss or to make an appointment for a hearing test, contact The Good Samaritan Hospital audiology department at 717-270-7812.