3 facts about hearing loss for World Hearing Day
World Hearing Day takes place every year on March 3. This campaign is organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and aims to raise awareness about hearing loss prevention and promote ear and hearing care across the globe. Before 2016, this event was called International Ear Care Day, and in some countries coincided with a hearing awareness week. Here are three interesting facts about hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is on the rise across Canada
According to Statistics Canada, more than 50 per cent of Canadians between 40 and 79 have hearing loss and don’t realize it. Moreover, 35 per cent of Canadians have a high-frequency hearing impairment, which is one of the first signs of age-related hearing loss. Hearing loss is also one of the top five long-term disabilities in Canada.
The WHO estimates that by 2050, almost one billion people will experience disabling hearing loss. This is partly due to more and more people using headphones and earbuds to listen to music and videos at high volumes. Moreover, of all the people who could benefit from hearing aids, only 17 per cent use them.
- Hearing loss can indicate other health problems
Losing your hearing can lead to embarrassment, fatigue, anxiety and stress. Although many people think hearing loss is a natural sign of aging, it can also indicate potentially life-threatening illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It’s also linked to dementia and a decline in cognitive function.
Despite this connection, only four percent of Canadians report hearing loss to a medical professional. This is because hearing tests aren’t typically part of a routine check-up. Therefore, it’s important to schedule regular hearing tests with an audiologist who has the equipment and training to detect hearing loss and pinpoint the possible causes.
- Hearing loss is preventable and treatable
The best way to prevent hearing loss is to avoid noises that are too loud, too close or last too long. If you can’t avoid noisy situations, you can protect your hearing with earplugs, earmuffs or special moulds. For instance, you should wear hearing protection when attending concerts, sporting events or operating loud machinery.
Furthermore, when listening to music through headphones, follow the 60/60 rule. For example, keep your music player at 60 per cent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time.
If you have hearing loss, an audiologist can fit you with hearing aids to help you communicate with others and improve your quality of life. In some instances, hearing loss can be corrected with surgery.
Hearing and ear care in Calgary
You don’t have to wait for an international hearing day to take better care of your ears. At Soundwave Hearing Care, our team is dedicated to helping you find a custom solution to meet your hearing health needs and lifestyle. For more information about our products and services, contact us at one of our locations in Calgary, Lethbridge, High River or Grande Prairie.