The New Year is The Right Time
A commitment to your hearing health is a commitment to your overall health and New Year is the perfect occasion to recommit yourself. It is true that the daylight is just about as short as it will be all year and that takes its toll on everyone’s energy. And it is true that the holidays are often an occasion to indulge. And when we eat too much or drink too much, it would seem that our health is the furthest thing from our minds.
The holidays have also always been an especially tough time for some people. For people who have lost family members or live far away from loved ones, the holidays can be a season of acute projection and envy, imagining that everyone else has things better than themselves. Especially in the last few years given how the Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally restructured so many of our norms and customs, wherever in the world we may be, the holidays are not just a simple time of celebration.
So it would seem that whether we are lost in the throes of celebration or the slog of introspection, self care would be the last things on our minds this season. But it is perhaps exactly these expectations that give the New Year such a charge of intentionality. Facing the reset of the calendar, what choice does any of us really have but to muster our enthusiasm best we can and tell ourselves, this year will be better.
And there is no more powerful way to signal that change and to kickstart such a change into reality than to make a commitment to your own health.
Your Hearing Health is The Root of Your Health
Hearing loss is far more common than most people are likely to assume. It is difficult to get exact numbers, for reasons that will be clear in a moment, but most trusted estimates land between 35-45 million Americans live with hearing loss to some detectable and impactful degree. This means that around 14% of the population of the US lives with hearing loss. Sadly, only around 20% of these people seek appropriate treatment to mitigate its impacts on their overall health.
All sorts of common factors can cause hearing loss, but it is always the result of damage to the microscopic hairs that work like antennae in our inner ears. These hairs detect sound waves and vibrate against our eardrums, which then transmit the signal to our brains to decode almost instantaneously. Damage to these hairs are permanent and irreversible, meaning that hearing loss is permanent and irreversible.
But with early interjection before its side effects have a chance to compound and with regular care and upkeep with the treatment plan appropriate to your specific needs, hearing loss is completely manageable.
To consider how fundamental your hearing health is to your overall health, just consider the common path that happens when hearing loss is left untreated. First off, obviously hearing loss is a risk to your physical safety. This is not just true in the case of the difficulty it adds to navigating public spaces, especially crowds, but it is also true at home, even in your most controlled environment. Our sense of balance depends intimately on our sense of hearing. The risk of suffering an accidental fall increases by 140% for every 10 dB of hearing loss.
But beyond just your physical safety, consider how hearing loss damages your emotional and psychological health. When you begin to have trouble hearing, you are very likely to begin to withdraw socially. This is only instinctive, given how disoriented and fatigued you have suddenly and mysteriously become just trying to follow conversations. This social withdrawal often leads to loneliness. It is a direct line from ongoing loneliness to feelings of depression and once one begins to endure an ongoing depression, it becomes just a magnetic feedback loop, reaffirming feelings of frustration and hopelessness and drawing more and more proof to itself to confirm these feelings. Such despair often leads to cognitive impairments.
Take Action Today
It is only intuition and instinct that of course we all want to feel the best that we can at every moment. This is just the primal bias of having a body and consciousness and it cannot be helped. The proper upkeep to help our odds at remaining happy and healthy is less intuitive and less instinctive. This is why New Years should be your occasion to recommit yourself to your health. Make an appointment with one of our hearing health specialists today to take the wheel in your own destiny.