As we get older, hearing loss is normally looked at as a fact of life. Many older Americans have some kind of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing in the ears. But if it’s such an accepted condition, why do so many people won’t admit that they deal with loss of hearing?
A new study from Canada posits that over half of all middle aged or older Canadians cope with some form of hearing loss, but that 77% of those people do not report any issues. Some kind of hearing loss is impacting more than 48 million Americans and goes un-addressed. If this denial is on purpose or not is debatable, but in either case, hearing loss is neglected by a substantial number of individuals – which could cause significant problems later on in life.
Why do Some Individuals Not Know They Have Loss of Hearing?
It’s a challenging matter. It’s a slow process when somebody loses their hearing, and some people may not notice that they have a more difficult time hearing things or comprehending people than they used to. Or, more frequently, they may blame it on something else – the person they’re talking to is mumbling, volumes aren’t turned up loud enough, or background noise is too high. There are, unfortunately, a number of things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and getting a hearing exam or getting checked out, usually, is not a person’s first instinct.
On the other hand, there might be some people who know they have hearing loss but won’t accept it. Another study conducted in the United States shows that many seniors flat out refuse to admit that they have a hearing issue. They mask their problem however they can, either because they don’t want to acknowledge a problem or because of perceived stigmas attached to hearing loss.
The problem is, you could be negatively influencing your overall health by ignoring your hearing loss.
There Can be Serious Consequences From Untreated Hearing Loss
Loss of hearing does not exclusively affect your ears – it has been linked to different conditions like depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline, and it can also be a symptom of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Research has shown that people suffering from loss of hearing generally have shorter life expectancy rates and their level of health is not as good as other people who have dealt with their hearing loss with hearing aids, changes in their diet, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
It’s crucial to acknowledge the signs of hearing loss – chronic humming or ringing in the ears, difficulty carrying on conversations, having to crank up the volume of your radio or TV.
How Can You Treat Hearing Loss?
There are a number of treatments you can do to get your hearing loss under control. Hearing aids are the type of treatment that is the most prevalent, and you won’t experience the same kinds of problems that your grandparents or parents did because hearing aid tech has progressed appreciably. Modern hearing aids have Bluetooth functionality so they can connect wirelessly to your phone or TV and they are capable of filtering out background noise and wing.
A dietary changes could impact the health of your hearing if you have anemia. Eating more foods that are rich in iron has been discovered to help people combat tinnitus and hearing loss since iron deficiency anemia has been shown to lead to hearing loss.
The most essential thing you can do, though, is to get your hearing assessed routinely.
Are you concerned you could have hearing problems? Schedule an appointment to have a hearing exam.