One of the most prevalent medical concerns that older persons face nowadays is hearing loss. Hearing loss affects nearly one in every eight people, affecting 48 million people.
Even though hearing loss is a common health problem, it is underdiagnosed. Nearly one-third of persons with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids have never used them, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). This demonstrates a general lack of action when it comes to hearing loss.
You can influence the course of your hearing health and improve the quality of your daily life by recognizing and intervening early! Avoiding hearing tests and postponing treatment can exacerbate the problem while increasing the risk of other health problems.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss usually develops gradually so that it might go unnoticed for a long time. It’s critical to detect the signs and symptoms and intervene as soon as feasible. The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms:
- You have tinnitus – a buzzing or ringing sound that can be heard in both ears.
- You turn up the volume on your electronic devices, such as your television, phone, and speaker.
- You ask that others repeat themselves, talk louder, and speak more slowly.
- Individual words are difficult to distinguish because sounds are muted or slurred.
- You’ll need to move to a quieter area to hear more clearly.
- When you can hear more clearly out of one ear than the other, you may find yourself lipreading or pretending to hear during a conversation.
Delaying therapy can have serious consequences that affect all facets of one’s life. These symptoms can range from moderate to severe, with a wide range of consequences in daily life. If you’ve had any of these symptoms, even if they’re mild, you should get your hearing checked as soon as possible.
The Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) presented the results of a poll in May 2021, which revealed widespread inaction on hearing loss. A national representative sample of over 2,500 persons was polled, and the results revealed that:
- 2 out of 10 adults (20%) had undergone a hearing test in the last five years.
- Only 11% of adults have sought treatment for hearing loss, even though 51% of individuals have reported having hearing problems.
These findings show that hearing health is undertreated and that even when people are aware of changes in their hearing health, they might take a long time to.
Untreated hearing loss can have a substantial impact on people’s lives and leads to the following issues:
Communication breakdown: Hearing loss symptoms reduce the capacity to perceive and process sound, making it challenging to communicate effectively. This makes it difficult to fully comprehend what others are saying, respond, and participate in conversations. These difficulties can lead to misunderstandings, dissatisfaction, and unpleasant relationships.
Social Withdrawal: People with untreated hearing loss typically have to overextend themselves to hear, resulting in social withdrawal. This type of isolation leads to decreased time spent with family and friends and reduced social life. People may avoid social engagements altogether, skipping out on parties, meetings, and activities due to this.
Other health challenges: Social disengagement can harm mental health by contributing to loneliness, anxiety, and despair. Untreated hearing loss also increases the risk of cognitive decline (and the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s) and unintentional injury.
In addition to these consequences, postponing treatment can exacerbate hearing loss. Hearing loss can worsen with time, increasing the severity of symptoms and their impact.
Getting the help you need
Fortunately, treating hearing loss is a simple procedure that has life-changing implications. The first step is to make an appointment for a hearing test with us. Hearing tests are a simple and non-invasive procedure that assesses your hearing abilities in each ear. This determines whether or not you have a hearing impairment, the severity of the impairment, and the hearing loss you have.
Hearing aids, which are small electronic devices that absorb and process sound, are the most frequent treatment for hearing loss. When fitted well and used for long enough, they can help you hear better in all situations. Hearing loss treatment improves communication and improves relationships, social life, and general wellness! Make an appointment with us right now. We will be able to provide practical recommendations to fulfill your particular hearing needs.