With one in five Americans experiencing hearing loss in at least one ear, some local audiologists are trying to raise awareness during Better Hearing Month in May by offering complimentary screenings.
Unlike wearing glasses to treat poor vision, most people ignore signs of hearing loss because of the stigma associated with it. Hearing loss can lead to poor performance at school, sadness, depression, anxiety, paranoia, withdrawal from life, and strained social relationships.
Sonus Hearing Care Professionals are encouraging parents, spouses, companions, and caregivers to bring loved ones in for a complimentary screening if they suspect any hearing loss.
"Millions suffer from hearing loss but since it happens gradually, most people don't recognize the signs and eventually have it pointed out to them by a friend or family member," said Dr. Thomas J. Tedeschi, Au.D., Vice President, Sonus Business Development.
"If the TV or radio volume keeps getting louder, if your loved one asks for things to be repeated, if you find that he or she is withdrawing from social situations more than before, these could all be signs of hearing loss. It is crucial that the signs are not ignored. The sooner a hearing problem is addressed, the more effectively it can be treated. Having personal support during a screening can be incredibly comforting and helpful--plus people are more likely to follow through with any next steps if they're not alone," he added.
Appointments are required. Visit www.chicago.sonus.com for addresses and phone numbers.
Six Surprising Facts About Hearing Health:
1) 26 million Americans between ages 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises at work or high volumes of music or from other leisure activities.
2) The level of hearing loss among American teens has risen to a level researchers have never seen before.
3) According the Department of Veterans Affairs, the most prevalent service-connected disabilities for veterans receiving federal compensation in 2011 were tinnitus and hearing loss, respectively, followed by PTSD.
4) 20% of the US population aged 12 years and older has hearing difficulties severe enough to impact communication.
5) Only 13% of primary doctors screen for hearing loss.
6) Most hearing loss is permanent and irreversible, but 1/3 of hearing loss is preventable with proper hearing protection and by taking a few simple precautions.