Know the Signs of Hearing Loss at All Ages
Education and Advocacy Audiologists identify, and teach you how to manage, hearing loss. Know your and your family’s hearing health — see an audiologist for a hearing test.
Hearing loss can happen at any age.
Unmanaged hearing loss can cause delayed speech and language development in infants. Children with hearing loss can struggle in school and may have difficulty learning social skills. One in five adolescents has measurable hearing loss, often caused by exposure to very loud environments and from spending too much time with the volume too high on their personal music devices. The result is that many of these youth can experience challenges with education and can be isolated from relationships. Sadly, this noise-induced hearing loss is completely preventable.
In one’s senior years [...] people may slowly remove themselves from their normal social activities.
Working-aged adults with unmanaged hearing loss risk difficulties in learning job skills. They can struggle to maintain a strong career and may experience anxiety in their family relationships. In one’s senior years, when the onset of hearing loss is gradual, people may slowly remove themselves from their normal social activities. It becomes too frustrating to try to cope when they cannot engage in conversations like they did before. They may isolate themselves and can become depressed. Reduced activity may occur and can contribute to other health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Recent research indicates that unmanaged hearing loss is also related to an increased risk of falls. This is a concern because seniors have difficulty recovering from fractures caused by falls, and this is a leading reason for admission to long-term care facilities. Research also shows that unmanaged hearing loss is related to a risk of an earlier onset of cognitive decline.
Know your and your family’s hearing health. See an audiologist for a hearing test. Audiologists are qualified professionals who can identify hearing loss and provide guidance on how best to manage it. Remember to always protect your hearing from loud noise.
Dave Gordey, AUD (C), is the President of the Canadian Academy of Audiology
Jean Holden, MSc, MBA is the Executive Director of the Canadian Academy of Audiology