The holiday season is the perfect time to help people connect with loved ones again, and local private-practice audiologist Sue Clampitt, M.S. of Hunterdon Audiology Associates couldn’t agree more. In light of the holidays, they are focusing their efforts on increasing the community’s awareness around protection from, prevention of, and treatment for hearing loss.
“We’re looking to help those with hearing loss and those who are affected through education. We’re putting an emphasis on hearing protection and technology, the different ways hearing loss can happen, and how it affects our overall well-being. Right now it’s seen as something only the elderly experience, but everyone is at risk for hearing damage. From teens who listen to their headphones at a certain volume to those who work with loud machinery — wherever loud noise happens, hearing loss can too,” says Sue Clampitt, M.S..
A study released September 17, 2015, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) states that among adults ages 18 to 39, 5.5 percent had trouble hearing without a hearing aid. The rate was 19 percent among adults ages 40 to 69 and 43.2 percent among adults ages 70 and over. Most of these adults (62.6 percent) had mild hearing loss, which is defined as “a little trouble hearing.”
“Studies continue to show that hearing loss is connected with a person’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being due to difficulties like socializing at work, with friends, and with loved ones,” says Sue Clampitt, M.S.. “Typically, we don’t see the people who are experiencing this until they have no choice but to do something about it, which, along with this study, proves the need for community education around hearing protection and prevention options.”
Less than half (46 percent) of adults ages 18 and older who report any trouble hearing have seen a doctor or other health professional about their hearing or ear problems in the last five years. Those ages 70 and older who report any trouble hearing are more likely (56.8 percent) to have seen a doctor or health professional about their hearing, compared to those ages 40 to 69 (41.6 percent) and those ages 18 to 39 (38.1 percent).
“We want to help everyone hear better, especially during a time when connection is so important. From listening to their favorite festive music to hearing in church and never missing a moment while presents are opened: Hearing is so important for our overall health and happiness,” says Sue Clampitt, M.S..