As we age, hearing loss is normally believed to be an inescapable fact of life. Hearing loss is experienced by lots of older Americans and so is tinnitus or a ringing in the ears. But if a condition like this is so accepted, why do so many people won’t admit that they have loss of hearing?
A new study from Canada posits that over half of all Canadians middle-aged and older suffer from some kind of loss of hearing, but that 77% of those people do not document any concerns. Some form of hearing loss is impacting over 48 million Americans and untreated. It’s up for debate whether this denial is deliberate or not, but in either case, loss of hearing is disregarded by a considerable number of individuals – which could cause considerable problems later on in life.
Why do Some People Not Recognize They Suffer From Loss of Hearing?
It’s a tricky matter. Loss of hearing is a slow process, and some people may not even notice that they have a more difficult time hearing things or comprehending people than they used to. Or, more commonly, they could blame it on something else – they believe everyone is mumbling, volumes aren’t turned up loud enough, or background noise is too high. There are, unfortunately, numerous things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and getting a hearing test or getting checked out, usually, is not a person’s first reaction.
It also happens that some people just won’t acknowledge that they suffer from hearing loss. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors flat out deny that they are suffering from a hearing issue. They mask their problem 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 scenarios is that by rejecting or not realizing you have a hearing problem you could actually be negatively affecting your general health.
There Can be Extreme Repercussions From Neglected Hearing Loss
It’s not just your ears that are affected by loss of hearing – it has been connected to various ailments 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 addressed their hearing loss with hearing aids, changes in their diet, or cognitive behavioral treatment.
It’s necessary to identify the indications of hearing loss – persistent humming or ringing in the ears, trouble carrying on conversations, needing to turn up the volume of your radio or TV.
What Can be Done to Manage Hearing Loss?
There are several treatment options you can undertake to get your loss of hearing under control. Hearing aids are the most prevalent type of treatment, and hearing aid technology has grown leaps and bounds over the past several years so it’s unlikely you’ll have the same issues your grandparents or parents did. Modern hearing aids have Bluetooth connectivity so they can connect wirelessly to your phone or TV and they are capable of filtering out background noise and wing.
A changes in the foods you eat could also have a beneficial effect on your hearing health if you have anemia. Since anemia iron deficiency has been revealed to cause hearing loss, people who have tinnitus can be helped by eating foods that are high in iron.
The most important thing you can do, though, is to get your hearing assessed on a regular basis.
Are you concerned you may have hearing problems? Come in and get tested.