How to Address Hearing Loss (Even If You Think It Isn’t Serious)

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Why we aren't taking our hearing loss seriously

Did you know that hearing loss affects 48 million Americans? Hearing loss is especially common in the older population. 1 out of 3 people in the United States over the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss, while 2 out of 3 people over the age of 75 have hearing loss.

However, despite how common hearing loss is, many people do not take this condition seriously. This is demonstrated by the fact that only 20 percent of people with hearing loss obtain treatment.

Why is that? Several factors may play a part in this statistic, including:

  • Some people may not know how to seek treatment for hearing loss
  • There may be a stigma surrounding treatment for hearing loss, including hearing aids
  • Some people may be willing to “workaround” their hearing loss by asking others to repeat themselves or simply withdrawing from many social situations
  • The belief that hearing aids are expensive, uncomfortable, difficult to obtain, or complicated to use
  • Some people may think that living with hearing loss won’t impact their overall health or quality of life

One or more of these factors may lead a person to avoid seeking treatment for hearing loss, even when the hearing loss becomes more severe and affects the person’s quality of life. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to a person’s overall health and quality of life.

In fact, research has found that untreated hearing loss is associated with a variety of health conditions, including depression, cognitive decline and dementia, anxiety, falls, and more. In addition, untreated hearing loss can severely limit the person’s social life, leading to isolation, and negatively impact their relationship with their spouse, family, and friends.

If you notice the signs of hearing loss in yourself or in a loved one, such as having difficulty understanding speech (especially when background noise is present) or certain sounds, be sure to take action as soon as possible. The sooner you receive treatment, the better chance you have of preventing the negative effects of untreated hearing loss. In addition, most people need some time to adjust to hearing aids, so the sooner you start wearing them, the sooner you will get used to them.

Here are a few simple tips you can follow to ensure that you properly and efficiently address hearing loss, whether in yourself or a loved one:

  • Schedule a hearing evaluation with a hearing healthcare professional. They will be able to properly test your hearing and diagnose any hearing loss. They will also be able to provide appropriate treatment if needed.
  • If you believe that hearing aids might be uncomfortable, difficult to use, or embarrassing to wear, speak with your hearing professional. Modern hearing aids are more comfortable, discreet, effective, and easy to use than ever before.
  • Wear your hearing aids! They can’t help you hear if you don’t wear them. Furthermore, the more you wear your hearing aids, the more your brain will adjust to them.
  • Let your family and friends know that you are experiencing hearing loss and that you are seeking treatment. This will help them better understand and help you throughout your journey.

To learn more about how we can treat hearing loss and why it is so important to properly address hearing loss, we invite you to contact our hearing healthcare practice today.

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