SOURCE: Miracle-Ear

September 23, 2010 10:54 ET

Miracle-Ear Says Hearing Loss Is Third Most Common Chronic Health Condition

Hearing Aid Awareness Week Focuses on Importance of Early Detection and Management

PLYMOUTH, MN--(Marketwire - September 23, 2010) -  Hearing loss is now the third most common chronic, but manageable, health condition in the United States, after arthritis and high blood pressure, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Yet, fewer than half of those with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids use them. "During Hearing Aid Awareness Week, October 3 - 10, we want to help everyone understand how important it is to take steps to detect and manage hearing loss early, before it has a chance to impact your quality of life and even your earning potential," says Rebecca Younk, audiologist for Miracle-Ear.

According to the HLAA, 1 in 10 Americans experiences some type of hearing loss. And yet, fewer than half of those hearing-impaired individuals use any type of hearing aid. Why? One reason may be that hearing loss is so gradual over time, that most people don't notice a change until it has become really pronounced. Other reasons may include embarrassment. "Even though eyeglasses and contact lenses have now become perfectly socially acceptable, we still have to work hard to ensure that hearing aid wearers are treated with the same respect as eyeglass wearers," explains Younk.

"The impact that unmanaged hearing loss can have on your life goes way beyond missing a word in a conversation here and there," emphasizes Younk. "Here are just a few good reasons, beyond simply enhancing your overall quality of life, to consider having a hearing test soon."

  • Hearing loss can starve the auditory centers of the brain of acoustic information, leading to auditory deprivation -- and a resulting decrease in speech understanding. Hearing aids can help these auditory centers "stay busy," to protect against this loss.
  • Research available at The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) suggests that patients with unmanaged hearing loss suffer more from depression and social isolation compared to those of similar age who wear hearing aids.
  • A study conducted by the BHI also suggests that hearing impaired patients choosing not to wear hearing aids earn less when compared to hearing impaired patients who choose to use hearing aids.

Today's hearing aids offer discreet, customized hearing solutions, tailored to your lifestyle, age and activities. Miracle-Ear offers a comprehensive hearing assessment that includes a complete hearing health history, ear canal inspection, hearing threshold test and speech discrimination test. If these tests indicate a hearing loss, Miracle-Ear works with the client to determine which solution best meets his or her individual needs.

"Hearing loss is a growing problem in the U.S.," says Younk, "but only about 13 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. You could have hearing loss and not even know it. It's the people closest to you who may recognize it first. If your friends or family are advising you to have your hearing tested, you should listen to them!"

For more information on Miracle-Ear, please visit http://www.miracle-ear.com/.

About Miracle-Ear
A trusted resource for hearing solutions for over 60 years, Miracle-Ear uses state-of-the-art technology to remove the barriers of hearing loss. The Plymouth, Minn.-based company specializes in customizable hearing solutions that feature discreet, comfortable products designed to meet each individual's hearing loss needs. Free hearing tests and consultations are available at all of the company's 1,200 locations across the U.S., many of which are in Sears stores. Franchise opportunities are available for those interested in running their own Miracle-Ear business with the support of a nationwide industry leader. 

For more information, visit www.miracle-ear.com