Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition impacting people in the United States today. One in every three people 65 years of age and one in every two 75 years of age and over has hearing loss.

This is important because there are surprising health risks directly connected to hearing loss. Research from Johns Hopkins Medicine found walking problems, falls and even dementia are linked to hearing loss. When you live with untreated hearing loss, you are not only putting your health at risk, but you may also be missing out on areas of your life and connecting fully with the ones you love.

Since Americans are living longer, hearing health will continue to be a key part of healthy aging. On average, those who currently wear hearing aids struggled to hear for 10 years prior to seeking treatment for their hearing loss.

That is 10 years of potentially:

  • Missing all or parts of precious conversations with a spouse or grandchildren
  • Struggling to communicate on the phone
  • Missing full appreciation of music 
  • Not fully participating in once-loved hobbies and/or social activities

Common signs of hearing loss: 

  • Asking people to repeat themselves often
  • Difficulty hearing over background noise
  • The feeling that people mumble when they speak
  • Turning up the volume too loud for others when watching TV

If you have signs of hearing loss, there are solutions and help available. The first step is getting your hearing tested by a Hearing Implant Specialist to determine the current state of your hearing loss. Typically, hearing aids are the first step to treating hearing loss. However, if a hearing loss has progressed beyond receiving benefit from a hearing aid—when it sounds like listening to a loud, badly tuned radio and the words are not clear anymore—it is time to consider a different hearing solution like a cochlear implant.

A cochlear implant works differently than a hearing aid. Hearing aids help many people by making the sounds they hear louder, but when hearing loss progresses, sounds not only need to be made louder, they need to be made clearer. This is when cochlear implants may help. Cochlear implants are designed to help give you that clarity, especially in noisy environments.

Article originally appeared on PR Newswire.

Photo by Jim Reardan on Unsplash

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