By Anita Giles
MS, CCC-A Audiologist
Physicians Hearing Center
What’s on Your Calendar in March, 2023?
March 3 World Hearing Day
Theme: Ear and hearing care for all! Let’s make it a reality. Purpose: Inform people about the importance of ear and hearing care and encourage them to seek services.
March 13-19 Brain Awareness Week
BAW is the global campaign to foster public enthusiasm and support for brain science. Every March, participants host imaginative activities in their communities that share the wonders of the brain, and the impact brain science has on our everyday lives.
March, 2023 Hearing Evaluation
Ear and hearing issues are among the most common problems encountered in the community. Hearing loss is the third most reported health concern in the U.S. Once hearing loss is noticed, people wait an average of five to seven years before getting their hearing tested and even longer to get hearing aids. Harmful effects of untreated hearing loss include auditory deprivation, isolation, depression, and early onset dementia.
Hearing health impacts your brain health. Most people believe that hearing loss impacts only the ears but if left untreated hearing loss can impair brain structure and function. Hearing is brain activity that requires complete detailed and accurate sound input for your brain to convert into meaningful information. Our brain uses this information to alert and protect us, communicate with other people, and monitor our own voices.
Hearing is vital to human activities, learning, information exchange, and connection to other people. When the brain is deprived of the sensation of sound, shrinkage occurs in the auditory area and the skills necessary for hearing, listening, and understanding speech diminish. Once the brain’s auditory area hasn’t been “used” in a while, it will need “exercising” with sound to recognize and remember how to interpret and use it.
Loss of hearing is usually permanent but is a treatable condition. Treatment is management and care given to reduce the effect of a disease or disorder that must be lived with because it can’t be cured. Professional evaluation and support services are available for hearing loss. Hearing loss degree and types are individual and varied, which requires evaluation by a hearing healthcare professional. Audiologists can determine how well you are hearing and help you identify the best hearing aid to treat your individual hearing loss.
Hearing loss is not a one-time event but a lifetime health care condition requiring continued assessment, monitoring and follow up care. If hearing aids don’t fit well or aren’t programmed properly for your hearing loss, auditory deprivation can continue. Treat your hearing loss as the health care condition that it is.
Better hearing is a quality of life decision for your ears and brain.
You are invited to make healthy hearing a reality by scheduling a hearing evaluation. Make March significant for yourself and those you love by staying connected with them.