The Challenges with Wearing Hearing Aids and Eyeglasses. Plus 6 Tips for Hearing Aid Solutions, if You also have Vision Loss.
A common concern among new hearing aid users is whether the devices will get in the way of their eyeglasses. The need to wear an extra item on your head can be daunting. Luckily for you, hearing aids do not always interfere with your eyeglasses. Most people are able to wear them with comfort and ease.
Hearing and Vision Impairments
The inability to hear or see are some of the most common health problems. About 38 million people in the U.S. have some range of hearing loss. One out of three Americans between 65-74 years old experience hearing loss due to a number of reasons which are not simply limited to excessive exposure to noise, aging (presbycusis), and genetic factors. For example, certain medications have also been linked to causing hearing loss.
Your vision, similar to hearing, also worsens as you age. About 12 million people across the country, who are over 40 years of age, have some form of vision problem. Some of the most prevalent sources of vision loss are macular degeneration and complications with vision due to age-related cataracts, diabetes, and glaucoma. Anyone who loses their eyesight is also prone to lose their peripheral vision, experience sensitivity to light, have a reduced depth of vision, and have color blindness. All of these complications interfere with a person’s ability to accomplish daily tasks and live their life to the fullest.
How Hearing Loss and Vision Loss Impact You
Having a hearing loss can drain so much of your energy. That energy depletes even quicker when you also need to focus on seeing. During the pandemic, many people struggle to communicate due to face masks. The brain becomes strained and overworked when it does not have access to all visual cues or clear speech sounds. This energy that is used to communicate and hear is causing listening fatigue. The inability to hear can lead to poor quality of life by causing embarrassment and social isolation.
If you were unable to see clearly while driving or hear important information during an appointment, would you seek help? Most people immediately get help for their vision loss when they become fully aware that there’s a problem, but it’s rare that they seek professional help for their hearing loss. It may be due to social stigma, embarrassment, or denial. Hearing loss also happens gradually, so a person who experiences it may not realize anything is wrong until much later in life.
Many people with hearing loss describe others’ speech as “mumbling” and “soft-spoken”, or blame a bustling restaurant for their inability to hear during a conversation. These may actually be signs of the early stages of hearing loss. Many people wait years until the hearing is at its worst, or when family and friends begin to notice, to get a hearing test and seek help.
5 Tips for Living with Hearing Loss and Some Vision Loss