Female patient being examined by dr.

Avoid These Common Excuses for Not Treating Hearing Loss!

In hearing loss by flywheel

When was the last time you’ve been in a large group? —if it’s been a while, it may be prudent to examine the factors which contribute to this. As we age it gets harder to stay social as health factors change affecting our mobility and are compounded by life changes such as retirement, the loss of a spouse, or geographic challenges. It may also be helpful to think about what it has been like when you socialize. Has your communication been feeling strained recently? It could signal an unaddressed hearing loss.

Age Related Hearing Loss

Hearing loss becomes increasingly more common as we age. In fact, one in three people over the age of 65 have hearing loss and this number increases to half of all people 75 years and older. Age related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis is the most common cause of hearing loss and the reality of it needs to be taken seriously. Sure, there are several factors and practices you can do to lower your risk but once it’s developed it’s important to admit that it’s an issue.

The Risks of Untreated Hearing Loss

In 90 percent of cases, hearing loss is sensorineural, which affects the cells which transmit sound from the inner ear to the brain and cannot be reversed. It is important to take any signs of sensorineural hearing loss seriously because the longer it goes untreated the more at risk you become for a wide range of dangerous effects which impact your overall health and quality of life. What was once thought to only be a communication issue is now understood as a condition which holds far reaching consequences for our emotional, cognitive, and physical health, including:

  • a strain on relationships,
  • chronic depression,
  • feelings of isolation,
  • reduced mobility,
  • cognitive decline,
  • an increased risk of dementia
  • an increased risk of falls and accidents leading to further hospitalization.

The Importance of Addressing a Hearing Loss

While hearing loss is permanent it can be treated effectively, most commonly with the use of hearing aids. These digital wonders have come a long way in adapting to different listening environments and enhancing sound quality for those with a hearing impairment. With hearing aids you not only will enjoy more confidence in everyday conversation and social situations, but enjoy the benefits to self-esteem and mobility that come with this. You’ll be more likely to go new places and try new things, enhancing your zest for life again.

However, even as the dangerous side effects are being widely understood, of those who could benefit from hearing aids, 70 and older, only 30 percent have ever tried them. Here are some common excuses as to why people avoid hearing aids and why it’s important to get past them so you can receive the treatment you need.

Difficult to self-diagnose

Hearing loss is a progressive issue which starts subtly and grows gradually over time. Your brain rationalizes and adapts to the subtle changes as they occur incrementally however, even if you don’t realize it’s there, doesn’t mean it’s not affecting you on multiple levels.

 Hearing loss’s stigma

Admitting you have hearing loss for many is hard because it means they are getting older or that they have a chronic disability. The truth is that ignoring health concerns is one of the most common ways to appear older than you actually are and treating a hearing loss will give you the tools to get out, stay connected and active for years to come.

Hearing loss is a normal part of growing older

Presbycusis is common but it doesn’t affect everyone till much later in life. For the two thirds of people 65-74 who don’t have hearing loss it may be due to a wide range of reasons ranging from lifestyle choices to genetics.

Hearing aids are expensive

The price tag on hearing aids can feel daunting to many. They are rarely covered by insurance companies despite the well documented health risks of untreated hearing loss. It’s important to understand the impact avoiding treatment can have for your overall health and quality of life. When you consider the potential cost of avoiding treatment, it can suddenly seem like the only smart financial choice is preventative, via hearing aids.

Scheduling a hearing exam

Don’t let your hearing loss take over your life. Call today to schedule your next hearing exam.