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Why Some People Wait to Treat Their Hearing Loss

 

Roughly one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have some form of hearing loss, making it the third most common health condition in older adults. However, after an initial diagnosis, the average time hearing aids users wait to seek treatment is seven years. In this week’s blog, we’re looking at some of the reasons that prevent people from treating their hearing loss.

Reason #1: Mild Hearing Loss Can’t Be That Harmful

Many people think they may have bad hearing, but not bad enough to do something about it. Even when people accept that they have hearing loss, they often think that the condition is not serious enough to treat, resulting a wait of up to seven years before seeking help. Think about it this way: if your vision gets blurry you would get your eyes examined immediately, right? Your hearing should be no different. Treating hearing loss early on can reduce the stress that straining to hear puts on the brain, thus decreasing your risk of developing serious conditions like depression, dementia, and more.

Reason #2: Hearing Aids Make Me Look Old

The connection between hearing aids and feeling old is due to age-related hearing loss (presbycusis). Because of this association, you might fear that losing your hearing means you’re aging, but hearing loss is something that people of all ages experience. Treating hearing loss can actually help your brain stay younger and help you remain connected with life.

Reason #3: Hearing Aids are Ugly

Hearing aids are not that same beige-colored bulky devices that were around years ago. In fact, Judie Stanford of Gear Diary recently proclaimed that “Signia has made hearing aid sexy; no really!” Today’s hearing aids only weigh a couple ounces and come in a wide range of colors. And if you’re looking for something a little less noticeable, today’s hearing aid options are smaller and more discreet than ever while still containing all the functionality to provide an exceptional listening experience.

Reason #4: I Am Unaware of My Hearing Problems

When a change in hearing occurs gradually, you’re often the last to notice it. After the age of 45, it is recommended that you get your hearing tested every three years. The sooner you detect (and treat) hearing loss, the better. Typical signs of hearing loss include:

  • Asking people to repeat themselves frequently
  • Getting complaints that you have the TV or radio too loud
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ear, otherwise known as tinnitus
  • Thinking other people or characters on television are mumbling
  • Having difficulty hearing on the phone

Getting hearing aids has been shown to have many benefits, including protection against health related conditions that have been linked to leaving it untreated. If you suspect that you or a loved one has hearing loss, visit your local hearing care professional today.