October is National Audiology Awareness Month and the American Academy of Audiology is urging the public to be conscious of hearing health. A recent study by the Lancet commission on dementia, cited nine risk factors for causing dementia and hearing loss was listed as one of the causes. The report also stated that dementia typically starts many years before it is recognized. Hearing impacts the brain and cognitive thinking.
One of the factors in maintaining healthy hearing is being conscious of the degree and amount of loud sound exposure. Keeping track of sound exposure can protect hearing. Many cases of deafness are caused by damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. The damage can be caused by too much noise, and it’s permanent. Noise-related hearing loss is usually irreversible; however, steps can be taken to prevent this damage. One of the simplest factors to protecting your hearing is to avoid loud noise.
Outdoor activities can pose a threat to hearing health. More than 40 million Americans, aged 20 to 69, have some type of hearing loss with approximately 10 million of those attributable to noise-induced hearing loss—exposure to loud noise. The National Institutes of Health NIDCD states that approximately 28.8 million could benefit from the use of hearing aids. While age is often cited as a factor, there are growing numbers of younger people also reporting hearing loss. Recreational loud noise is increasingly impacting younger people—earbuds, concerts, music in bars and restaurants, fireworks—all can be contributing factors.
The American Academy of Audiology is the world’s largest professional organization of, by and for audiologists. For more details, visit: www.howsyourhearing.org•
Exceptional Parent Magazine; October 2017