What Is So Important about the Early Detection and Treatment of Hearing Loss?

03/18/2020 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

While it is true that aging affects our ability to hear National Institutes of Health (NIH) statistics indicate that 50% of adults over age 75 experience some degree of hearing loss, assuming it is an inevitable defect of aging without a remedy is dangerous. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 30% of people over age 65 suffer unnecessarily from a debilitating hearing loss that has a profound effect on their lives. The danger for most who allow the condition to go untreated extends beyond their reduced hearing capacity. As an audiology professional, my duty and passionate commitment are to raise awareness of the importance of early detection and treatment of hearing loss. Here is a list of reasons I have assembled to accomplish that goal.

Protect Your Physical Health

An inability to hear becomes dangerous when you are unable to hear warning signs such as honking horns, barking dogs, fire alarms, or emergency vehicles. Hearing these important cues, especially when you are behind the wheel, can be critical. However, the greater threat to your physical health comes in the form of infections, growths or tumors, high blood pressure, diabetes, ototoxic drug use, a degenerative disease, or a symptom or indicator of other health problems. Falls from balance issues brought on by damage to your inner ear are also common with individuals who leave a hearing loss untreated.

Protect Your Mental Health

Hearing is more than a sensory skill – it is also a cognitive skill. Damage to the auditory system function spreads to brain function. The design of our brain requires the experience of a full range of sounds to remain healthy. When we strain to hear, our brain begins to lose its ability to process certain sounds. Your brain begins to atrophy whenever it goes without hearing certain sounds, making it difficult to recover to full capacity even after receiving treatment. Common cognitive issues that result from a failure to treat hearing loss include an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Early detection and treatment help keep these conditions at bay.

Protect Your Emotional Health

Individuals with a hearing loss tend to withdraw from social gatherings as well as avoiding family and friends. Emotional health depends upon socialization and participation in what is going on in the world around us. Without social interaction, those suffering from a hearing loss sink into depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Early detection and treatment of hearing loss can help you to avoid these mental health issues while providing you with a more enjoyable, independent, and rewarding lifestyle, allowing you to build and maintain vibrant relationships.

Protect Your Current Hearing Capacity

I’m frustrated by statistics that tell me the average person with a hearing loss waits five to seven years from their first hearing loss experience before they seek treatment. Given a shot, I can provide treatment options that could eliminate hearing loss due to wax buildup, inflammation from infections, ototoxic medication avoidance, and tumors or growths in the ear canal. Also, I can provide guidelines to prevent further development of noise-induced hearing loss or traumatic injuries. At the very least, my interventions using hearing instruments can provide your auditory system and brain with the crucial connection it requires to prevent further damage. Early detection and treatment allow me to help protect your current hearing capacity.

My team and I at Duncan Hearing Healthcare ask for an opportunity to help protect your physical health, your mental health, your emotional health, and your current hearing capacity by coming in for a hearing test. We have the equipment, experience, and expertise to identify and treat your hearing loss before it causes further damage.

Contact us to learn more about the importance of early detection and treatment of hearing loss or to set up an appointment in one of Duncan Hearing Healthcare’s Fall River, Centerville, or Dartmouth, MA clinics.

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Nancy Duncan, Au.D.

Dr. Nancy Duncan graduated from Somerset High, Somerset, MA in 1991 and received her B.S. in communication disorders and psychology from Worcester State College. Her master of science in audiology was awarded at the University of Arkansas in 1997, after which she worked for several private audiology practices in Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Returning to the area in 2003, Dr. Duncan founded Duncan Hearing Healthcare, allowing her to apply her passion to her community through rehabilitative audiology and individual patient care. She earned her clinical doctorate in audiology degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (now Salus University) in 2005. Her passion for her family and community is an integral part of what drives her to provide trustworthy, professional hearing healthcare to her patients.

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