Did you know one in six Australians has hearing loss? Sadly, however, Australians take on average six to eight years from when they first start noticing problems until they take action in regards to their hearing.
It is often a partner or family member that ‘gently encourages’ a loved one to get their hearing checked as untreated hearing loss often affects those around us more. Besides the obvious impact hearing loss can have on our relationships, have you ever considered how hearing loss can affect your overall health? With Hearing Awareness Week 2019 beginning on March 3, we thought it was timely to discuss the influence hearing has on our brains and the rest of our body.
Many prevalent health conditions among seniors and baby boomers have a very strong link with hearing loss. Regardless of how young or old you are, the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss is critical to maintain and restore wellness and may even prevent more serious health conditions. While many think of hearing loss as an inevitable part of the ageing process, it should not be considered a benign condition that is passively accepted or ignored. We know today that the consequences of untreated hearing loss can have a far-reaching and devastating impact.
So let’s look at 10 facts about hearing loss and its impact on our health:
- Untreated hearing loss can increase your risk of developing Dementia by up to five times.
- Hearing loss is twice as common in adults with Type 2 Diabetes.
- Untreated hearing loss (even a very mild loss) increases your risk of having a fall three-fold and this risk increases with severity of hearing loss.
- Cardiovascular (heart) problems can be associated with low pitched hearing loss.
- Certain types of chemotherapy used to treat cancers can result in a high-pitched hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is very common in adults who experience Tinnitus (ringing or buzzing sounds in ears).
- Adults who experience dizziness, vertigo or balance issues are more likely to have hearing difficulties.
- In patients with moderate chronic kidney disease, there is early evidence that there is a higher incidence of hearing loss.
- An increased risk of prolonged injuries and illnesses requiring hospitalisation is linked with hearing loss.
- Adults with hearing loss are more likely to suffer episodes of stress, depression and anxiety.
With three in every four people over the age of 70 having a hearing loss in Australia if you haven’t had your hearing assessed recently now is the time to make a positive change that could not only influence your hearing but also your health.