An estimated 25.4 million US residents aged 12 years or older have mild hearing loss. Hearing loss directly affects 23% of Americans 12 years or older. Hearing loss can be impactful in many areas of an individual’s life including: communication with others, thinking ability, diminished psychological health, etc.
Some risk factors identified for hearing loss include:
· Family history,
· Maternal infections during pregnancy
· Exposure to damaging noise levels
· Recurrent middle ear infections or episode lasting < 3 months
There are a number of steps that can be taken to prevent hearing loss.
· Individuals should have their hearing checked, on average, every three years.
Age Range How often
18 to 45 year olds Every 5 years
45 to 60 year olds Every 3 years
60 years plus Every 2 years
· Take breaks from loud noises.
· Other preventative measures such as wearing earplugs or hearing protection should also be taken if you will be exposed to high levels of noise.
The Healthy Lifestyle Center can provide hearing screenings and can assist with further recommendations on how to prevent hearing loss.
By Allison Blake
Sources: Fligor, B. J. (2018) Hearing loss prevention. Better Institute Hearing. Retrieved from http://www.betterhearing.org/hearingpedia/hearing-loss-prevention; Goman, A. M., & Li n, F. R. (2016). Prevalence of hearing loss by severity in the united states. American Journal of Public Health; Routine hearing checks –how often? (n.d). Retrievedfrom: http://www.ai hhp.org/your-hearing/routine-hearing-checks-how-often/. Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash