May is Better Hearing Month
Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common health condition after arthritis and heart disease? Also since it occurs gradually, many people with a mild hearing loss do not realize they have a problem or that their hearing has changed. Hearing loss is an invisible condition and typically is not tested or discussed during routine physicals.
Hearing loss is not just a condition affecting older adults. It is a condition that can affect individuals of any age. In fact 60% of individuals with hearing loss are either in the workforce or an educational setting (meaning they are younger than 65 years old – retirement age). Hearing loss can be caused by various factors including genetics, noise-exposure, ototoxic (ear-damaging) medications, viruses, head trauma, or aging. Certain health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease can increase the likelihood that an individual will develop a hearing loss.
An untreated hearing loss not only impacts an individual’s quality of life but can have an impact on overall health as well. Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can lead to changes in cognitive function, depression and an increased risk of falls.
During Better Hearing Month, Dr. Olson helped raise community awareness on the impact of hearing loss by providing educational presentations to nearby towns including Ridgewood, Midland Park, Washington Township and Woodcliff Lake. She discussed the importance of a hearing test if you have experienced difficulty hearing or for baseline testing to ensure and monitor normal hearing. Dr. Olson suggested implementing better communication strategies that can be used in challenging listening environments by individuals who have normal hearing or a hearing loss.
The Hearing Loss Association of America is a non-profit organization that provides information and resources for individuals with hearing loss and their families. For the past 10 years, HLAA has organized Walk4Hearing Fundraisers across the country to raise donations to support its mission and provide local resources to directly benefit people with hearing loss. The 2015 NJ Walk4Hearing will be held on Sunday October 18 in West Windsor, NJ. We will be having the Kickoff event in North Jersey at Maggiano’s Restaurant in Hackensack, NJ on Sunday August 30. Please contact Dr. Olson if you would like to attend the Kickoff. Sophisticated Hearing is also raising money for the NJ Walk4Hearing. Please contact our office is you are interested in making a donation directly to the NJ Walk.