Hearing is one of our most important senses. It allows us to strengthen old relationships and foster new ones. It allows us to perceive the world in its full glory and immerse ourselves in the ever-changing sights and sounds. It allows us to pursue our passions and learn new skills. Most importantly, it allows us to create and share memories with the ones dearest to us. Yet unfortunately, we often take our hearing for granted.
When we encounter eyesight problems, we immediately go to an optician to prescribe a pair of spectacles. Yet when we face hearing issues, we may ignore them and in turn, start to ignore everybody around us.
Losing your hearing may not be as scary as you think. As we age, our bodies could decide to go into ‘retirement mode’, and understandably, our ears may do so as well. It’s estimated that 87% of Singaporeans over 65 years old have hearing loss. Hearing loss is a natural condition as we grow older.
Studies have shown that treating hearing loss early slows down cognitive decline; reduces risk of falls; reduces fatigue and social isolation amongst other health and psychological benefits. Just like eyesight, we should take preventive steps to protect our hearing, and address them as soon as it starts to fade.
There are different degrees of hearing loss, ranging from mild to moderate, severe or profound. For those with moderate hearing loss, we may not be able to hear household noises (around 50dB), as well as most conversations (around 60dB). With severe hearing loss, we will probably need a hearing aid to keep up with conversations.
As hearing loss happens subtly over time, many people may not know something is amiss until simple things like holding a conversation becomes difficult.
Here are some tips on how we can protect ourselves from the impact of hearing loss:
Protect your Hearing
- Turn volume down when using audio devices
- Use earplugs when exposed to loud noises
- Do not insert cotton buds into your ears or attempt to remove ear wax yourself
- Keep ears dry
- Take medications only as directed
Include a Hearing Test as part of your yearly health check up
- Hearing Tests are simple, relatively quick & pain free and a great way to monitor ear health and hearing ability
- Your hearing test and examination from the Audiologist may indicate hearing loss and that you could benefit from hearing aids. Hearing Aids are effective devices that can help improve communication with family & friends and help you re-hear sounds that could not be heard previously.
Consult your GP or ENT Specialist
- Before doing any hearing tests, you may want to consult your Doctor to determine if an infection or ear wax is affecting your ears. An ENT specialist can do further check- ups or remove wax if needed.
This wellness series on hearing loss is brought to you by nessa™. nessa™’s unique solutions breaks down the traditional barriers of cost, inconvenience and stigma associated with hearing aids. To learn more about nessa™ hearing aids and services or to register for a free hearing test, please visit nessa.asia or call +65 6817 3297.
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