Have you noticed any changes in your hearing recently? Are you straining to hear, or always turning up the volume on the TV? Maybe you’ve considered that you have hearing loss but keep putting off getting that hearing test. The truth is, the longer hearing loss goes untreated, the worse your health outcomes will be, so why are so many people waiting to book a hearing test?
Hearing Loss is A Lot More Common Than You Think
Hearing loss affects millions of Americans each year. People of any age risk hearing loss from exposure to loud noises, or from unsafe listening practices when it comes to earbud use. As we get older, we’re more likely to have hearing loss, and research shows that half of all seniors over the age of 65 have hearing loss. For those over the age of 70, that number rises to two out of three struggling to hear. If so many people have hearing loss, why aren’t more people seeking treatment?
Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss
The first signs of hearing loss can be hard to spot. After all, hearing loss is a gradual process, and it’s not like you’ll wake up one day and suddenly not be able to hear anything. As your hearing changes, your brain adapts to these small changes, so your hearing loss can creep up on you, and you might not notice it until for quite some time. You may find yourself turning up the volume on the TV or on your phone or turning your good ear towards the person speaking. As your hearing deteriorates, you’ll start missing high frequency sounds, like the voices of women and children.
When it comes to conversations, hearing loss becomes a lot more obvious. Consonant sounds are hard to hear, so even though you may hear most of the speech sounds, understanding the meaning of what’s been said can be a real nightmare, especially if there’s any background noise. You ask people to repeat themselves often or feel like everyone is mumbling. You may have given up talking on the phone all together, since it was just too hard to follow the conversation without any facial cues to help you make sense of it all.
The Negatives of Living with Hearing Loss
If you’ve realized you have hearing loss, have been putting off that hearing test, or have decided to just live with your hearing loss, it’s time to face the facts. Those living with hearing loss experience a host of negative health outcomes. Struggling to hear means you’ll struggle to communicate, and your relationships will suffer. You may choose to stop meeting friends, since it’s too embarrassing when you can’t hear what’s been said or answer inappropriately. You risk losing the relationships that make your life meaningful, and resign yourself to living with stress, anxiety, or even depression.
A number of studies have also linked untreated hearing loss with more rapid cognitive decline, memory impairment, difficulty concentrating, and an earlier onset of dementia. Those with hearing loss don’t used their brains to their full capacity, and this leads to a tragic case of use it or lose it. research shows that those with untreated hearing loss actually have far less grey matter in the brain as compared to their hearing peers.
Book a Hearing Test
Despite all the negative outcomes of living with untreated hearing loss, only 1 in 5 Americans are seeking treatment! For seniors over 60, its recommended to have a hearing test once a year, so you’ll be sure to catch the first signs of hearing loss. Those who treat their hearing loss right away don’t suffer all the negative outcomes of hearing loss and maintain their quick wit and quality of life. Hearing aids of today are small and discreet. Some tuck snugly behind the ear, and match skin or hair tone. Others sit in the ear canal and are nearly invisible! All our hearing aids feature complex programs that will help you hear in any listening environment.
If you’ve noticed any changes in your hearing recently or are finally ready to make the right choice and get a hearing aid, call us at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center and come in for a hearing test!