Nearly 48 million Americans experience some range of hearing loss, but most are unwilling to acknowledge it. Due to the ageism that is deeply steeped in society, many people see hearing loss as a sign of getting old, so it’s ignored and goes untreated.
The aesthetics of hearing aids or their cost is also a concern for many individuals. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, the average person waits at least seven years to seek help. There are serious consequences to untreated hearing loss. Here are nine reasons why you - or your loved one - should get treatment.
1. Wearing Hearing Aids is as Natural as Wearing Eyeglasses
While it’s important to note that hearing loss and vision loss are not the same things, - nor does treatment for them work the same way - normalizing the use of hearing aids the way wearing eyeglasses has been accepted is important.
Presbyopia, or the inability to focus on close objects due to age-related deterioration, is the visual equivalent to presbycusis (age-related hearing loss). For some, hearing aids may not be considered a trendy accessory - although they are available in bright colors. There are more discreet styles that rest in the inner ear canal. Many famous people also rely on wearing hearing aids like Halle Berry, Jodie Foster, Robert Redford, Rob Lowe, and Whoopie Goldberg.
2. Mild Hearing Loss can change Brain Function
Ears transmit information to the brain, therefore when hearing loss occurs the brain will also change. As hearing loss progresses, the areas of the brain that process visual and sensory elements will start to utilize parts of the auditory cortex to comprehend sounds. This change results in an under-stimulation - which leads to deterioration - of the auditory cortex.
3. Untreated Hearing Loss Negatively impacts Memory and Cognitive Abilities
You may have had trouble hearing in a crowded room. Your frontal and prefrontal cortex - these are the areas of the brain that assist with thinking, focusing, concentration, and remembering things for brief periods (A.K.A. - working memory) - become more active. These are the parts of your brain that listen, so they won’t be effective if they become deteriorated due to hearing loss. When it comes to the way their brain processes speed and executive function, research has shown that individuals with hearing loss have shortcomings. As frequently mentioned in this blog, hearing loss has been linked to dementia. In 2017, The Lancet published an international study that concluded that hearing loss is one of the biggest modifiable risks for developing dementia. There’s a lot of hope in the fact that a person with hearing loss can manage their memory and cognitive abilities, and adapt to life like any other person with a hearing aid that is fit and programmed by a professional.
4. The Safety and Security of Hearing Better
Some ranges of hearing loss may put your life in danger. If you can’t hear a smoke alarm, house alarm, sirens, severe weather warnings, or even a doorbell, this can put you at greater risk.
According to research from Johns Hopkins University, the National Institute of Aging found that anyone with mild hearing loss is three times more likely to fall than people with healthy hearing abilities.
5. The Stress of Straining to Hear
Mild hearing loss can cause stress. This stress can lead to anger, anxiety, depression, frustration, headaches, and irritability.
6. Interpersonal Relationships can Suffer
Relationships can become strained if you don’t have a partner/spouse, family members, friends, or colleagues who are patient with you. Following along during conversations can be challenging. It can require more concentration and fatigue. After a while, you may no longer enjoy socializing and begin isolating yourself, which can lead to depression.
7. Hearing Health helps Your overall Health
Getting a routine hearing test and treatment, if necessary, is one step towards better overall health. A good diet and an exercise routine are also great ways to help your overall health, which can impact your hearing health.
8. Hearing Aids have seen Great Technological Improvements
Hearing aids can be discreetly placed in the ear canal or even behind the ears. Digital signal processing lets your hearing instrument specialist tailor the devices for your specific listening needs, which improves your hearing health and cognitive health. This gives users a customized listening experience.
9. It’s Almost Impossible to Mask Your Hearing Loss
If you are constantly asking others to speak up or repeat what they’ve said, you might need hearing aids.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment for a hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists. They will help you find the right solution for your hearing needs.