The new year is upon us. This is the time when people take stock of their lives and consider ways to improve it through New Year’s resolutions. Some want to get healthier by eating better and exercising. Others want to experience new adventures and put travel at the top of their lists. And others decide to change their lives for the better by addressing factors that reduce their quality of life.
If you have decreased hearing, make 2017 the year that you improve your quality of life by taking the first step and getting a hearing test.
The impact of hearing loss on quality of life
If you have trouble hearing, then no doubt your quality of life has suffered since its onset. Unaddressed hearing loss can impact daily life in a variety of ways. It can make simple conversations more frustrating to listen to. It can lead to exhaustion from social interaction as your brain must try harder to decode what those around you are saying. It can reduce alertness, reduce job performance, and affect your personal relationships.
Over time, it can also lead to depression, withdrawal, and social isolation as you start to avoid parties and get-togethers in noisy environments. Eventually, unaddressed hearing loss can also diminish cognitive function, increase your risk of falling, and may be related to an assortment of health conditions.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of
People often struggle to accept their hearing loss. They might be in denial for years. They might think they’re too young to have problems with their hearing. But hearing loss is an all-ages problem and it affects millions of Americans, young and old alike. There’s no reason to suffer through unaddressed hearing problems. The longer you wait to get a hearing test, the worse the issue can become. The sooner you book an appointment for a hearing test, the sooner you can get treatment and get your life back.
Get a hearing test
Getting a diagnostic hearing test is the first step to addressing hearing loss. It’s the best way to understand why you’re having trouble hearing and find out what solutions are available to help you hear better. Described in laymen’s terms, during the hearing test, the audiologist will take a look at your ear canals, evaluate the movements of the eardrums, and examine your auditory pathway to learn the origin of your symptoms before offering recommendations for treatment.
Get back your quality of life
If your hearing test determines that you have a hearing loss, your audiologist will offer appropriate treatment, such as individually programmed and professionally fit hearing aids.
Hearing aids can improve your quality of life in many ways. Wearing hearing aids can brighten your spirits—people who use hearing aids are less likely to feel hopeless, depressed, or sad. Social events and get-togethers will be fun again as you’ll be able to hear the conversations going on around you. You won’t worry about having to hear in noisy environments, such as restaurants.
You may feel more optimistic and engaged in life as you will start getting pleasure from doing the things you love again, like listening to music and going on coffee dates. Your relationships with loved ones may also improve and you could end up with a stronger social network. Research also shows that people who use hearing aids are more likely to actively tackle their problems. Furthermore, you’ll be able to lighten your cognitive load—it won’t take as much effort to listen and your memory may also improve.
If you keep any New Year’s resolution this year, make sure it’s scheduling a comprehensive hearing evaluation with a doctoral-level audiologist.