In today's noisy world, there are more reasons than ever to take steps to maintain good hearing. Dangerous noise exposure can come from your work environment, hobbies, lawn equipment, car stereo speakers, headphones and even hairdryers.
Whether you are exposed to these kinds of noises or not, natural progression hearing loss during adulthood is one of the most common health problems in our society, although in many cases it is left undiagnosed for long periods of time.
About 36 million individuals in the U.S. suffer from significant hearing impairment, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Many are unaware that hearing loss is common in adults even as young as age 35 to 50 years old. In fact, more than 50 percent of hearing impaired individuals are in this age range.
Hearing loss risk factors in women
In general, women tend to have better hearing than men do. However, certain factors may negatively influence hearing status. For example, the natural hormone progesterone, produced by older women and utilized in hormone replacement therapy, has been associated with increased progression of hearing loss in women. Hearing loss in women has also been associated with a history of fibromyalgia, menopause and lupus in addition to normal wear and tear, abnormal bone growth in the ear and genetics. Recent research also shows that low cardiovascular fitness can initiate an early onset of age-related hearing loss.
Hearing loss can limit your life
The toll of hearing loss is enormous. It can lead to social isolation, limit your job prospects, complicate relationships, rob you of self-esteem and make you feel as if life is passing you by. A study conducted by the National Council on Aging concluded that living with untreated hearing loss could significantly affect overall health and sense of well-being.
Any time is a good time for a hearing exam
It's never too early in life to have your hearing checked. Even if you don't suspect a hearing loss, obtaining a baseline hearing exam during early adulthood can also provide your healthcare provider with a valuable comparison to judge later changes in hearing.
Our expert audiologists perform comrehensive hearing evaluations for children and adults. Learn more about hearing services at The Christ Hospital.