There is no denying that hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the US, with statistics showing it affects more than nine-million Americans over the age of 65. What is more staggering is that hearing loss figures can reach close to 10 million Americans between the ages of 45-64. Additionally, 60% of these people do not get their hearing loss treated and don’t seek an audiologist to recommend the right solution for them.
So, what keeps people from helping themselves when it comes to hearing loss? There are clear negative consequences to leaving hearing loss untreated, and it can be a lot to come to terms with.
Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss
There has been information recently released that suggests seniors with untreated hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids reported feelings of sadness and depression that has lasted two weeks or more. The main reasons behind these feelings is the sudden isolation you feel when struggling to communicate or take part in conversations when socializing with friends and family. This can be especially evident for older people but is becoming more of the norm for younger people who are experiencing hearing loss. The main consequences being is that if left untreated, these feelings can only get worse and not better.
Additional ramifications of untreated hearing loss include: cognitive decline, anxiety, risk of falls, depression and an increased risk of dementia. Seeking treatment for hearing loss sooner than later will enable you to stave off some of these unwanted side effects, as well as easily participating in the conversation again.
Hearing loss is one of those things that can be very gradual and initially you won’t even realize at first there is a problem. It could be small things, such as not hearing the birds outside of your bedroom windows, and this can then progress to asking people to repeat questions or conversations. Often the first thing is to deny there is even an issue. You can blame it on small things such as headache, a bad day or even allergies. Even people who seek out help from an audiologist to be diagnosed with hearing loss can wait up to seven years on average before taking the step to use something like hearing aids.
Once you get to the point where you can no longer deny that you are not hearing as well as you may begin feeling some frustration. This could be caused because you feel like your hearing won’t get better and you’ll be stuck asking family and friends to constantly repeat themselves. Luckily, there are several treatments available to help you connect with the world around you again, and finding an audiologist to address your hearing loss is the first step in getting rid of your frustration.
Unfortunately, most cases of hearing loss are not curable, but with hearing aids, you’ll be able to hear more clearly and easily. However, many people do feel like there is some lifestyle adjustment they can make to benefit their hearing ability after it’s been lost. This may be you trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, a change of career, doing things to keep your brain function active or wearing protective gear. While these are all responsible choices, they often won’t restore your hearing, and without treatment, your condition will continue to worsen.
Accepting your hearing loss
The final step to coming to terms with hearing loss is actually acceptance. You get to the point where you feel that you can’t change it but you can improve things and this can give you a new sense of purpose. Once you have reached this phase of your hearing loss journey, you will be ready to visit your audiologist and seek out the treatment you deserve. There are several different types of hearing aids available, including:
- In the canal (ITC)
- Completely in canal (CIC)
- Invisible in canal (IIC)
- Behind the ear (BTE)
- In the ear (ITE)
In addition to this range of styles, there are also several features available to help you customize your listening experience. Some of the most popular features you could opt for, include:
- Directional microphones
- Noise reduction
- Sound profiles
If you want to discuss any issues you are experiencing or to set up a hearing test and start dealing with your hearing loss today, then you can learn more by contacting Hear Here Audiology at 727-289-1212.