As we age, hearing loss is commonly looked at as a fact of life. Hearing loss is experienced by lots of older Americans as is tinnitus or a ringing in the ears. But if it’s such an accepted condition, why is it that so many people won’t admit that they deal with loss of hearing?
A new study from Canada reports that loss of hearing is experienced by over half of Canadians, but no issues were reported at all by more than 77% percent of those. In the United States, over 48 million people have some type of hearing loss, but many do not try to deal with it. Whether this denial is on purpose or not is up for debate, but it’s still true that a substantial number of people allow their loss of hearing to go unchecked – which could bring about substantial problems later on in life.
Why is Hearing Loss Not Recognized by Some people?
It’s a challenging matter. It’s a gradual process when a person loses their ability to hear, and some people might not recognize that they are having a harder time hearing things or understanding people than they used to. A lot of times they blame everyone else around them – the person they’re talking to is muttering, volumes aren’t turned up loud enough, or there’s too much background interference. There are, unfortunately, numerous things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and people’s first reaction is not normally going to be to get examined or get a hearing test.
It also happens that some individuals just won’t accept that they have hearing loss. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors simply refuse to admit that they are suffering from a hearing issue. They mask their problem however they can, either they recognize a stigma around hearing loss or because they don’t want to admit to having a problem.
The concern is, you could be negatively impacting your general health by neglecting your hearing loss.
Neglected Hearing Loss Can Have a Devastating Affect
It’s not just your ears that are impacted by loss of hearing – it has been linked to different ailments such as depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline, and it can also be a sign of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Research has shown that people who have loss of hearing generally have shorter life expectancy rates and their general health is not as strong as people who have addressed their hearing loss using hearing aids, changes in their diet, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
It’s important to identify the signs of hearing loss – difficulty carrying on conversations, turning up the volume on the radio or TV, or a lingering ringing or humming in your ears.
What Can You Do to Treat Hearing Loss?
There are a number of treatments you can do to get your loss of hearing under control. Hearing aids are the form of treatment that is the most common, and hearing aid technology has grown leaps and bounds over the last several years so it’s not likely you’ll encounter the same problems your parents or grandparents did. Contemporary hearing aids have Bluetooth connectivity so they can connect wirelessly to your phone or TV and they are capable of filtering out wind and background noise.
A dietary changes could affect your hearing health if you suffer from anemia. Since anemia iron deficiency has been shown to cause hearing loss, people who suffer from tinnitus can be helped by consuming foods that are rich in iron.
Getting your hearing tested routinely, however, is the most significant thing you can do.
Do you suspect that might have hearing loss? Make an appointment for a hearing exam.