It’s inevitable, whether we’re 6 or 60 years old. Especially when vision conditions are the second most prevalent health condition troubling Americans, but (growing) 1 in 9 people experience hearing loss. And the 2 can even go hand-in-hand. Let’s explore what to look for – so you can keep your eyes, ears and health in-check.
Children: 18 years old and younger
A part of growing up means that children and their bodies go through a lot of changes – many that can’t be detected by the eye. And let’s face it – children may not always tell their parents or teacher that they’re experiencing issues because they think it’s normal. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends both vision and hearing screenings as part of school-aged health maintenance.
Not only do children aged 12 and younger learn the most through their eyes, but those with mild to moderate hearing loss typically fall 1 to 4 grade levels lower than their peers with normal hearing. It may be time to schedule an exam if you start to notice common clues like sitting too close to the television or having the volume up too high, or issues in school hearing the teacher or seeing the front of the classroom. Early identification of vision and/or hearing issues can help a child with their development – now and beyond.
Adults: 19 – 59 years old
Young and carefree, right? Not so fast. With the amount of time we spend in front of a digital device or blaring the latest song through our headphones, there’s bound to be a consequence. In addition to the more than 1/3 of Millennials that complain of digital eye strain, the number of adults experiencing hearing loss in their 20s and 30s is on the rise.
And of those who go untreated, 95% said it affects their on-the-job performance. Considering the fact that people are working longer and increased competition in the job market, the related costs of these health challenges will only amplify if they’re left undiagnosed and untreated.
For many, it’s not until their early to mid-40s that they begin to experience vision problems. And unfortunately, studies show that poor visual performance is associated with a higher likelihood of hearing loss.
Mature adults: 60+
As we grow older, it becomes even more important to pay attention to our bodies. According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 98% of older adults have at least one chronic health condition. Did you know that many of these conditions – such as heart disease and diabetes – are also connected with serious eye conditions or hearing loss?[7,11] What’s more, mature adults and diabetics are likely to have both hearing and vision loss.
What’s the bottom line?
They say, “You’re only as old as you feel.” So consider including routine vision exams and hearing screenings as part of your plan to stay sharp and healthy.