Identify, prevent and treat hearing loss with Palomar Health

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Early detection and intervention can be life changing. Sponsored by Palomar Health

SAN DIEGO — Did you know May is Speech and Hearing Improvement Month? Do you constantly need to turn up the volume on your TV? Do you have difficulty understanding words in a crowd? Do you feel like your family mumbles when they talk? It might be time for a hearing test. As we age, our risk of hearing loss increases. Nearly half of people over 75 have difficulty hearing. But a growing number of young people are now suffering from hearing loss. Dr. David Illich, Chief Audiologist at Palomar Health, joins our Laura Cavanaugh to share ways for you to be proactive in protecting your hearing.

Hearing loss is very common. It is the third most common chronic disability among Americans over 50.

“Often the person doesn’t know they have a hearing loss. They’ll say I hear fine, it’s just people mumbling,” Illich said. “Getting a basic hearing test through your doctor is key to reducing hearing deprivation.”

Hearing loss can be linked to falls, cognitive decline and dementia.

“Treating a person’s hearing loss is by far the number one remedy for reducing and preventing cognitive decline. It’s critical for the brain to hear natural sounds and speech clearly,” Illich said. “The longer a person waits with untreated hearing loss, the less successful they are with a hearing aid.”

Early detection and intervention can be life changing. The Welcome to Medicare law states that to be accepted for Medicare benefits, you must undergo a hearing screening.

More than 12% of young people suffer from hearing loss, but this noise-induced hearing loss is preventable.

“The American Medical Association says the fastest growing medical epidemic in the United States of America today is permanent sensory neural hearing loss in people 19 and under,” Illich said.

Part of the problem can be attributed to technology, music, and the proximity of speakers to the ear canal when young people listen to music through headphones and stream to their devices. Dr. Illich advises the 60-60 rule.

Keep the volume at a moderate level, no more than 60% maximum volume. And try not to listen to anything for more than 60 minutes without a five-minute break to allow the auditory system to rest.

Healthy hearing can lead to healthy living. This is your communication and connection key. Better hearing can improve emotional strength and mental health. It may help reduce the risk of depression, cognitive decline and dementia. Listening and connecting can help you live your life to the fullest.

For more information visit www.palomarhealth.org

Sponsored by: Palomar Health

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