As we get older, hearing loss is typically 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 for such an accepted condition many people still won’t admit they deal with hearing loss.
A new study from Canada suggests that over half of all middle aged or older Canadians cope with some form of hearing loss, but no problems were reported at all by over 77% percent of those. Some form of hearing loss is experienced by more than 48 million Americans and untreated. It’s up for debate whether this denial is deliberate or not, but in either case, hearing loss is disregarded by a significant number of people – which, in the future, could cause considerable issues.
Why is Hearing Loss Not Recognized by Some people?
It’s a tricky matter. Hearing loss is a slow process, and some people may not even recognize that they are having a harder time hearing things or understanding people than they once did. Or, more commonly, they might blame it on something else – they believe everyone is mumbling, the TV volume is too low, or there’s too much background interference. There are, unfortunately, numerous things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and getting a hearing exam or getting checked out, normally, is not a person’s first reaction.
It also happens that some people just won’t accept that they suffer from hearing loss. Another study conducted in the United States shows that many seniors who have hearing problems flat out deny it. They mask their issue however they can, either they recognize a stigma around hearing loss or because they don’t want to admit to having a problem.
The problem with both of these scenarios is that by denying or not noticing you have a hearing problem you could actually be negatively influencing your general health.
There Can be Serious Repercussions From Neglected Hearing Loss
It’s not only your ears that are affected by loss of hearing – heart disease and high blood pressure have also been connected to hearing loss as well as anxiety, depression, and mental decline.
Research has demonstrated that individuals who have addressed their loss of hearing using cognitive therapy, changes of diet and hearing aids have better general health and longer life spans.
It’s important to acknowledge 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 be Done About Hearing Loss?
You can control your hearing loss using several treatment options. Hearing aids are the type of treatment that is the most common, and hearing aid tech has developed by leaps and bounds over the last few years so it’s unlikely you’ll encounter the same problems your grandparents or parents did. Modern hearing aids have Bluetooth functionality 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 also have a beneficial impact on your hearing health if you have anemia. Consuming more foods that are high in iron has been shown to help people deal with tinnitus and hearing loss since iron deficiency anemia has been demonstrated to result in hearing loss.
The most important thing you can do, though, is to get your hearing tested routinely.
Are you worried you might have hearing problems? Visit us and get checked.