In most medical practices, hearing is usually not on the radar for patient care. If you are the exception, I applaud you. Sadly, when the hearing loss box gets checked in a case history, there is often no recommendation made to see an Audiologist. Hearing deserves attention and I'm here to light a fire in hope that it spreads.
Brain health is on everyone's mind and most adults don't realize when their hearing changes or understand the importance of ear protection. Early treatment of hearing loss reduces decline of memory, learning and reasoning. Noise induced hearing loss is preventable! Isn't that enough knowledge to take action? Most adults experience a gradual loss and baseline hearing screening at 50 years of age is advised.
Did you know that there is an increase in hospitalization and fall risk with untreated hearing loss? Imagine the consequences when a medication change or follow up treatment is misunderstood. Compliance increases when verbal instructions are heard. Printed instructions are helpful but many older adults struggle reading small print.
What's frightening are the number of patients that go undiagnosed with careers that rely on the sense of hearing. What facts did they miss in making decisions that impacted the lives of others? Life is also about hearing the side comments and all of the soft sounds that we take for granted.
An Audiologist may be about ears but we focus on whole body health as all systems are connected. The risk of hearing loss increases with diabetes, heart and kidney disease, memory loss, depression, noise exposure, and family history.
I'm asking you to be an advocate of better hearing. Life is better when we can connect with those around us and keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. After all, that's an Audiologists job and we need your help.
Filed under: Audiologist