Hearing loss, one of the most common chronic physical conditions at birth and as we age, is due to illness, accident, medication and noise exposure and has been linked to diabetes and dementia. Individuals of any age whose hearing impairment is not properly managed are at risk for the following: compromised speech understanding; delays in speech-language development; educational and literacy deficits; reduced cognitive integrity and social interaction (across the lifespan); isolation and depression. Early identification and management of hearing and balance disorders is key to long-term success.
The ability to hear effectively is essential to maintaining quality of life. According to StatsCan (2016), hearing loss can have serious consequences including: social isolation and depression; safety issues; reduced income and employment opportunities; poor academic performance and language development in children and youth.
Reliability and accuracy of assessment leads to proper diagnosis and effective rehabilitation. Inappropriate use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices also places individuals at risk and may result in further hearing damage.