As we get older, loss of hearing is typically perceived as an inescapable fact of life. Many older Americans have some form of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a constant ringing in the ears. But if it’s such an accepted condition, why do so many people won’t admit that they suffer from hearing loss?
A new study from Canada posits that over half of all Canadians middle-aged and older have some kind of loss of hearing, but that 77% of those people don’t report any concerns. In the United States, over 48 million people have some form of hearing loss, but many do not attempt to deal with it. It’s up for debate whether this denial is deliberate or not, but the fact remains that a substantial number of individuals allow their loss of hearing to go unchecked – which could result in considerable problems later on in life.
Why is Hearing Loss Not Recognized by Some people?
That question is a tricky one. It’s a gradual process when a person loses their hearing, and difficulty understanding people and hearing things go unnoticed. Or, more frequently, they could blame it on something else – they believe everyone is mumbling, the TV volume is too low, or there’s too much background noise. There are, unfortunately, quite a few things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and people’s first reaction is not usually going to be to get checked out or get a hearing test.
On the other hand, there might be some individuals who know they have hearing loss but refuse to accept it. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors flat out deny that they are suffering from a hearing problem. They hide their issue in any way they can, either because they don’t want to acknowledge a problem or because of perceived stigmas attached to hearing loss.
The problem with both of these situations is that by denying or not realizing you have a problem hearing you could actually be negatively influencing your general health.
Neglected Hearing Loss Can Have a Catastrophic Affect
It’s not only your ears that are impacted by loss of hearing – it has been linked to different ailments like depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline, and it can also be a sign of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Research has shown that individuals who have addressed their hearing loss with cognitive therapy, changes of diet and hearing aids have better overall health and longer life expectancy.
It’s important to recognize the signs of hearing loss – problems having conversations, turning up the volume on the TV and radio, or a lingering humming or ringing in your ears.
What Can be Done About Loss of Hearing?
You can get your hearing loss under control using a number of treatment options. Hearing aids are the most prevalent form of treatment, and you won’t have the same kinds of problems that your parents or grandparents did because hearing aid technology has advanced appreciably. Contemporary hearing aids have Bluetooth functionality so they can connect wirelessly to your phone or TV and they have the ability to filter out wind and background noise.
A dietary changes could impact the health of your hearing if you have anemia. Consuming more foods that are high in iron has been discovered to help people battle tinnitus and loss of hearing since iron deficiency anemia has been demonstrated to lead to hearing loss.
The foremost thing you can do, however, is to have your hearing checked on a regular basis.
Do you suspect that you’re suffering from loss of hearing? Make an appointment for a hearing assessment.