Acknowledging the Reality of Hearing Loss

When Hearing Loss Becomes Reality

In Hearing Loss by audseo

People tend to ignore early signs of hearing loss. In fact, it takes an average of 7 years for people to address their symptoms. Nearly 1 in 5 people have some degree of impaired hearing, a medical condition that affects over 48 million people. Though it is the third most common health issue people live with today, it still remains widely undertreated. Contributing to this delay in treating hearing loss is that it can be tough to acknowledge changes to your health. This can be stressful and overwhelming to deal with so treatment is put off. But it is important to know that there is a wealth of hearing healthcare services, resources, and technologies that are available and designed to transform your health and wellness. 

Widespread Inaction on Hearing Loss 

It is common to ignore hearing loss. Studies show that symptoms can remain untreated for a number of years. A recent study that highlights widespread inaction when it comes to hearing loss was published by the American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA). Researchers surveyed nearly 2,500 people (ages 18 and older) on their hearing health and found that: 

  • More than 51% of all adults reported having hearing problems, but only 11% have sought treatment.
  • More than 78% of those with hearing problems have experienced them for 1 or more years. Over 35% have had trouble for 5 or more years.
  • 2 in 10 adults have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, compared with 6 in 10 who have had their vision tested.

These findings highlight how common it is to ignore hearing health and symptoms that have been experienced for a number of years. Untreated symptoms can have significant effects on all aspects of life including strained communication, relationships, social life, and increased health risks. 

Identifying Hearing Loss Symptoms 

Acknowledging the reality of hearing loss starts by identifying symptoms. Hearing loss typically occurs gradually so symptoms can remain unnoticed for quite some time. But early signs to watch for include: 

  • Tinnitus: a buzzing or ringing noise in one or both ears. 
  • Sounds are slurred or muffled. 
  • Struggling to keep up with conversations in place with background noise (restaurants, parties). 
  • Asking others to repeat something, speak louder, or speak slower. 
  • Lip reading to identify individual words. 
  • Needing to turn up the volume on the TV or other electronic devices. 
  • Pretending to hear to get through a conversation. 
  • Moving to a quieter room to be able to hear better. 
  • Being able to hear more clearly out of one ear compared to the other. 
  • Skipping out on social events and gatherings. 
  • Spending less time with loved ones, not participating in activities/hobbies. 

These symptoms can be mild to more profound, depending on the degree of hearing loss you are experiencing. Social withdrawal is a common way people cope with symptoms which means spending less time with others and engaged in activities. This affects relationships and social connection as well as increases the risk of developing depressive symptoms. Extensive research also shows that untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of cognitive decline, falls, and accidental injuries. 

Treating Hearing Loss

If you recognize any hearing loss symptoms, it is important to have your hearing health evaluated. Conducted by a hearing healthcare specialist, hearing tests involve a non-invasive and painless process that measures your hearing capacity in both ears. This identifies any hearing loss and the degree of impairment in each ear. Once your hearing needs are established, your hearing healthcare provider is able to tailor treatment to meet your hearing needs. 

The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These electronic devices are designed to process speech and sound. This provides the ears and brain with significant support, alleviating symptoms and maximizing hearing capacity. Today’s hearing aids are more innovative than ever before, offering a range of features that deliver sharp sound quality. Their award-winning designs allow them to easily integrate into everyday life while supporting hearing needs in all environments. Treating hearing loss not only improves hearing and communication but it also strengthens relations, social life, and overall health. Treatment allows people to live healthy and active lives. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation.