Avoid serious impacts of hearing loss at all stages of life; get help to improve your unique communication experience.
The impact of unmanaged hearing loss, throughout the life span, is considerable. It can cause delayed speech, language, classroom learning, and social development in infants and children. An estimated 20 percent of adolescents have hearing loss, which is often caused by listening to personal devices for too long at high volumes. This can result in challenges in education and isolation from social connections. In this case, hearing loss is preventable.
Adults with hearing loss can experience difficulty in learning job skills and can have slower or little progress in career development. Social isolation can cause anxiety, loneliness and can create challenges in maintaining healthy family relationships.
Hearing loss should be a consideration in health maintenance — like vision, healthy weight, healthy foods, exercise, and healthy relationships.
Older Canadians who experience hearing loss typically wait six to nine years from the onset of hearing loss before taking steps to manage their hearing health. Part of the reason is a belief that they’ll be considered old if they use hearing assists. The problem is that they gradually isolate themselves as they find it more frustrating to socialize and engage in their normal activities. This isolation can lead to loneliness and depression. Also, research is showing us that there’s a connection between unmanaged hearing loss and earlier onset of cognitive decline and that there’s also an increased risk of falling at any age with unmanaged hearing loss.
It’s very important to embrace your and your family’s hearing health. Hearing loss should be a consideration in health maintenance — like vision, healthy weight, healthy foods, exercise, and healthy relationships. Protect your hearing, manage it, and get advice on how to lead a full life with hearing loss. Audiologists are health professionals who can assess hearing, advise on hearing assists, and provide counselling on how to integrate healthy hearing management at any stage in life.
Chris Allan, M.Sc., Ph.D., reg. CASLPO, President, Canadian Academy of Audiology
Jean Holden, M.Sc., MBA, Executive Director, Canadian Academy of Audiology