Links between hearing loss and other health issues

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Hearing test
Hearing loss is common in Australia, with approximately 3.55 million Australians suffering from the condition.1 What many people don’t know is that sufferers of this condition may be experiencing more difficulties than simply being hard of hearing. In a study commissioned by the International Hearing Institute Cochlear Ltd2 in 2013, over half of Australians didn’t realize their hearing problems may be linked to other health issues.

Some reports even suggest adults who suffer from hearing loss may also encounter poorer cognitive function such as memory loss ̀and concentration issues2, falls and higher chances of hospitalization, according to clinical manager and senior audiologist Nina Swiderski from the South Australian Cochlear Implant Centre.

One of the best ways to combat hearing loss, and therefore any associated risks that come with it, is to take regular hearing tests. “It can assist health professionals to provide the most suitable advice regarding amplification options, which may include hearing aids or hearing implant solutions. A hearing test can also indicate whether there may be other hearing conditions that require medical attention,” explained Ms Swiderski.

She reiterated that hearing loss is part of ageing for many Australians, and not something to be ashamed of. Many people will avoid a visit to the doctor due to stigmas attached to this condition, even though mounting evidence suggests there’s more to hearing loss than having to turn up the television volume a few more notches.

It’s a good idea to add regular hearing checks to your yearly health audit, in addition to ensuring you consume with a healthy diet, packed with fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins, get plenty of exercise to keep joints, bones and muscles moving and schedule eye health checks to keep track of any changes that may occur which you can’t see.

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Published May 11, 2014
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