As our country gradually emerges from the isolation caused by a pandemic, we eagerly anticipate the return to a host of social activities, including family celebrations, gatherings with friends and, for many, a return to classrooms and offices.
It seems only fitting, then, that the theme for Better Hearing and Speech Month 2021 (May) is “Building Connections.” In a lot of ways, it’s about reconnecting with the ways we lived before a virus turned the world upside down. This includes reexperiencing sounds that bring joy and purpose to your life, whether it’s a child’s happy expressions at a birthday party or stimulating conversations with a close friend over a cup of coffee.
But perhaps you’re discovering that those precious sounds have dimmed a bit over the past year. Leading a relatively sheltered life, you may not have realized how much your hearing has deteriorated.
At Amplifon Hearing Health Care, we urge you to take action so you can hear to the best of your ability during this time of reconnecting. First, let’s review some of the possible indicators of hearing loss:
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
- Feeling like other people are mumbling
- Difficulty understanding what young children are saying
- Inability to follow conversation in loud environments
- Turning up the TV or radio too loud for others around you
- Avoiding social situations because of too much noise
If you’ve noticed any of these hearing loss symptoms, here’s good news: Hearing health care professionals across the country are ready to help you take action to address your hearing loss. And, although COVID-19 may still be a concern, providers have implemented multiple precautions to make sure you stay healthy. We discussed some of these safeguards in a previous article, which you can read here.
It’s about good physical and mental health, too
Speaking of staying healthy, the past year has taught us about the value of disease prevention, from practicing social distancing to getting vaccinated. But did you know that prevention and maintaining good overall health also should include your hearing?
Specifically, the better you hear, the lower your risk of dementia, depression and injury-causing falls. Besides affecting your quality of life, these health conditions are expensive to treat. In fact, a Johns Hopkins study1 concluded that older adults with untreated hearing loss incurred $22,434 in extra health care costs versus individuals with no hearing loss. The same study revealed that people with untreated hearing loss experienced approximately 50% more hospital stays and had a 44% higher risk of readmission within 30 days.
Good hearing also helps protect against social isolation, which has been associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes daily, according to a study of 20,000 people.2 Needless to say, a person’s mental well-being is affected by social isolation, too. Now, with the easing of restrictions on social gatherings, wouldn’t it be great to hear family members and friends to the best of your ability?
For Better Hearing and Speech Month 2021, we encourage you to think about all the benefits of good hearing, whether it’s reconnecting with life’s vibrant sounds, or ensuring optimal physical and mental health. If you suspect a hearing problem, take the first step toward a solution by getting your hearing checked.
Simply click here to request an appointment for a professional hearing screening with a provider at a clinic near you. An Amplifon Hearing Care Advocate will answer all your questions and guide you through the entire process.