An Overarching Cause For Concern – The State of Hearing Demographics in Delaware County

According to The Better Hearing Institute, one tenth of the American population at large struggles with hearing difficulties. With Delaware County, OH’s population numbering at 195,000 people, we estimate that 19,500 individuals face some kind of hearing-related health issue. As 13 percent of our population ages 65 years or older, and 29 percent of those in this age group likely suffer a hearing impairment, we express great concern for the health of Delaware County’s elderly. Not only does hearing loss affect approximately 7,351 individuals in this age bracket, but it also constitutes the third most common, serious health condition at this stage in life.

Hearing loss contributes to more than just impaired interpersonal communication. It incurs greater health costs and distress among family members, as difficulties hearing likely amplify other health problems including dementia and depression. In addition, younger adult populations carry higher vulnerability to chronic conditions like diabetes, which doubles sufferers’ risk of hearing loss. As life expectancy increases, we anticipate more people needing treatment for hearing-related concerns as they age and experience other serious illnesses possibly exacerbated by impaired communication and reduced quality of life. The National Council on Aging stresses that proactive treatment of hearing loss significantly improves psychological, social, emotional, and physical well-being of those seeking help for hearing-related concerns.

The relationship between hearing ability and quality of life holds duality is closely related in that noise-induced hearing loss is another concern in Delaware County. Noise-induced hearing loss impacts individuals of all ages and health conditions. Whether sudden or persistent, loud noise leads to permanent, but preventable hearing loss. Such harmful noise stems from:

  • Occupations including construction and military service.
  • Explosives, including firecrackers and gunshots.
  • Amplified music at concerts, or simply music played at high volumes from any location.
  • Continuous, busy traffic.

You might encounter these sounds once, or several hours a day for several days a week, with an increased risk of impaired hearing. Constant exposure to loud noise not just affects your health, but also the health of others with whom you interact.

Research and statistics indicate that hearing loss relates to more than commonly associated age groups like the elderly. If left undetected and untreated, impaired hearing could worsen other chronic conditions. For more than 50 years, the Delaware Speech and Hearing Center has existed to improve quality of life in central Ohio, prioritizing and facilitating effective communication for individuals who experience hearing loss. We take a holistic, research-driven approach, and our outreach assists community members from all walks of life. For more information on our services, please click here, call (740) 369-3650 or email contact@delawareshc.org to discuss your needs and schedule an appointment.

By |2017-09-30T01:49:33+00:00April 21st, 2017|Audiology|0 Comments

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