If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, you are not alone! Over 50 million Americans are dealing with some form of a hearing loss.

This is a very common problem that tends to sneak up on people, as it usually comes on gradually and without pain. Hearing loss can occur at birth or can develop at any age.

Our hearing changes throughout our lifetime, and the more birthdays we have, the more likely we will have some degree of hearing loss.

1 out of 3 people over age 65 have some degree of hearing loss
2 out of 3 people over the age of 75 have a hearing loss
Hearing loss is the 3rd most common health condition among older adults

Hearing health impacts overall health in more ways than hearing. Hearing loss is associated with balance problems, falls, social isolation, loneliness, depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more.

Research has linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease. [1] As hearing becomes harder, your brain must work harder to register and comprehend what you’re listening to.

This steals energy needed for memory and thinking.  The portion of the brain used for hearing can become reorganized in even the earliest stages of age-related hearing loss. These compensatory changes increase the overall load on the brains of aging adults.

The cognitive overload begins to fatigue the brain and puts it at an increased risk for dementia. Researchers say that managing or treating hearing loss is THE #1 preventable risk factor (of nine things) that you can do to prevent dementia.

When you have a hearing loss in some frequencies and not others, it is easier to dismiss it as unimportant. However, even a mild hearing loss can adversely affect your cognitive capabilities, work, home, and social life.

Fortunately, the brain’s neuroplasticity means that treating hearing loss allows the brain to relearn how to hear. Proper hearing aid use correlates with an improved outlook, mood, mobility, independence, communication, and social interaction.

Aging is not the only cause of hearing loss, although it is the most common. Noise exposure is another common cause of hearing loss, and it is the only “preventable” type of hearing loss.

For many people, hearing loss can be caused by multiple factors, including family history, disease, medical history, aging, noise exposure, etc. This is why it’s important to have a thorough evaluation by a licensed hearing professional; they can make specific recommendations based on your history.

Since approximately 95% of hearing loss in adults is permanent and non-medical, the treatment plan usually is the fitting of hearing aids.

Hearing aids are only one piece of the puzzle. Finding the right hearing professional can make all the difference!

We make sure the hearing aids are programmed to your individual specifications based on your hearing loss, lifestyle, needs, etc. Other types of assistive listening devices may also be recommended, and aural rehabilitation is another tool that can be very effective in helping you “learn to hear and understand again.”

Chances are, your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight, and neither will the correction. It takes time to learn to hear again!

Your hearing professional at Audiology On Call will be your personal guide!

If you or a loved one is concerned about hearing loss symptoms and are looking for a trusted hearing care professional to help you start your journey, give us a call today at (833) 244-3275.

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Kelli Smith, Au.D.

Dr. Smith earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Montevallo in 1991, graduating with Cum Laude honors. She received her Master’s Degree in Audiology in 1993 from the University of South Carolina and completed her clinical Doctorate of Audiology degree (Au.D.) from Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2005. Dr. Smith is licensed by the State of Georgia as an Audiologist. She is a member of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), and the Georgia Academy of Audiology (GAA), where she served on the Board as a regional representative from 2004-2007, Chair of Publications from 2004-2008, and webmaster from 2005-2011. In 2012, Dr. Smith was awarded Honors of the Association for outstanding service to GAA.