Hearing loss: Don’t let the message fall on deaf ears

Wondering if your hearing isn’t as sharp as it used to be? You’re not alone. Between 38 million and 48 million people suffer with some degree of hearing loss in the U.S. And it’s not just people in their older years. One in three people older than 65 have some hearing loss, but did you know that 14 percent of people age 45 to 64 also have hearing loss? And roughly 60 percent of people with hearing loss are still working.

See how well you hear by taking this test. Can you understand what’s being said?

Hearing loss is not just the loss of volume. It can also manifest itself as muddied or garbled understanding of speech – especially in situations with a high level of background or ambient noise. Recognizing early hearing loss is the first step toward getting treatment for it.

It’s not just about volume

Hearing loss isn’t just having the volume turned down on your hearing. It also affects the way you hear and process language. Many people with hearing loss can hear someone else talking in a crowded public place, but they have difficulty separating certain words and differentiating between some of the sounds we make when we talk.

When you watched the video, were you able to understand what was being said or did you miss bits and pieces here and there? Was the voice garbled or muddled in places? If so, maybe it’s time to think about getting a hearing exam.

Hearing loss is on the rise

Between 2005 and 2008, the number of Americans with hearing loss rose from 31.5 to 35 million. That growth represents a 9 percent increase in the number of people with hearing loss, while the population grew by just 4.5 percent. At current rates, as many as 52.9 million Americans could have hearing loss by 2050.

Don’t let it slide

When you feel young and vibrant, it’s hard to admit you’ve got hearing loss. But early detection and treatment can help you keep your hearing as long as possible. Although living with hearing aids may seem like a burden, living without them can cause isolation, anger and frustration. Untreated hearing loss has even been linked with the onset of dementia and is shown to contribute to depression in older adults.

Learn more

To learn more about coverage for hearing aids and to locate a TruHearing provider, contact Providence Health Plan customer service at 503-574-7500 or 800-878-4445 (TTY: 711).

Content provided by TruHearing