By Sofía Cedillo
Photos: Courtesy of GAES

Hearing loss often goes unnoticed because it generally occurs gradually and because, in certain cases, people refuse to address it in a timely manner. That is why it is important to raise awareness among the population about the importance of paying attention to hearing care in time.

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), untreated hearing loss is the third most important cause of years lived with disability worldwide after osteoarthritis and high blood pressure. Paradoxically, despite its significance, 50% of the population has not yet experienced a hearing evaluation, highlighting the urgent need for awareness and action.

Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) ages 18 and over report some trouble hearing, and about one in three people in the U.S. between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss. Nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.

GAES - The Benefits of Addressing Hearing Loss Early

This sensory deficit has been linked to a number of concerning comorbidities, including physical health problems, anxiety, depression, social isolation, cognitive decline and dementia.

Studies have shown that addressing hearing loss not only improves the quality of life of those affected, but may also help prevent or reduce these related conditions. Therefore, attention to hearing health has become a fundamental aspect of the overall health of the aging population.

What are the main reasons to address hearing loss early?
  1. Protects self-esteem
  2. Decreases the risk of social isolation
  3. Prevents depression
  4. Improves quality of life
  5. Preserves interpersonal relationships
  6. Stimulates mental activity
  7. Facilitates communication in work environments
  8. Avoids stress and frustration
  9. Influences balance
What are the symptoms of hearing loss?

It is important to be attentive to the first symptoms of hearing loss. To do this, it is advisable to ask yourself certain questions, which can be answered with a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ to know if we are facing the beginning of hearing loss:

  • Do people around me speak softly, as if murmuring?
  • I don’t understand the conversations of several people speaking at the same time?
  • Do I ask people to repeat what they have said?
  • Do I not hear well when there is noise?
  • Do I answer questions wrong because I don’t understand them?
  • Can I hear well when talking on the phone?
  • Does my family complain that I turn up the volume on the TV too much?
  • Do I have ringing in my ears?
  • Do some noises bother me a lot?

Our hearing health experts emphasize the importance of performing annual hearing checks as part of a preventive strategy and early detection of possible hearing problems. These checks are simple, precise, and painless procedures which can identify hearing loss within a matter of minutes.