Deborah Seidner, VP of Professional Development and Head Audiologist for Hearing Health USA, recently spoke with NJ Advance Media about “Better Hearing Month” and the importance of overall hearing health. In an effort to raise public awareness for the growing number of Americans suffering from hearing loss, Hearing Health USA and the American Academy of Audiology are celebrating Better Hearing Month this May. They are encouraging everyone to educate themselves on the symptoms and causes of hearing loss and how it can affect their general health and quality of life.
Q: Why is it important to raise awareness on hearing loss and its affects?
Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States and is currently affecting more than 36 million Americans, and over 360 million of the world’s population. Hearing difficulties are commonly associated with the normal aging process, but what many do not know is that more than half of all hearing-impaired persons are actually younger than 65. There are many factors that play into why hearing loss is affecting the younger generations, such as increased use of personal music players and earbuds. 1 in 3 Americans developed their hearing loss as a result of excessive noise exposure. The longer hearing loss is overlooked, the harder it can be to treat or manage. Having your hearing checked annually by someone who is qualified to diagnose and treat the condition is as important as having your vision, teeth and blood pressure checked. Hearing loss isn’t just an ear issue, it’s a quality of life issue.
Q: Who should get their hearing tested?
A: Every adult should get a baseline hearing test. This test will determine if a loss is present or not, as well as the cause and recommended course of intervention if warranted. It can also be used as a valuable comparative indicator of any progressive or sudden loss later in life, such as from a car accident, ototoxic medications or age. These baseline results are imperative to refer to as a reference. Furthermore, anyone who has had any kind of prolonged noise exposure such as working in a loud environment should get their hearing tested on a yearly basis. Musicians, firefighters and construction workers are just a few examples of people who are more susceptible to hearing loss. If you had multiple ear infections or high fevers in your life, are diabetic, or have a family history of hearing problems, then you are also more susceptible to hearing loss. Common symptoms of hearing loss include: difficulty understanding in noisy environments, asking people to repeat themselves, ringing or buzzing sound in your ears, difficulty hearing on the phone, and turning up the television.
Q: Where can our readers get more information on hearing loss or find a hearing professional near them?
A: Hearing Health USA offers a wealth of information on hearing healthcare and the latest in technology and treatment. Our providers are educated and clinically experienced professionals who specialize in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss. To locate a provider near you visit https://www.hearinghealthusa.com/find-a-clinic/ or call 888-373-0061. For more information and resources please visit hearinghealthusa.com.
Deborah Seidner, MMSc., CCC-A, Head Audiologist, NJ Hearing Aid Supervising Dispenser Lic. #623