As we get older, loss of hearing is generally believed to be an inescapable fact of life. Hearing loss is experienced by many older Americans as is tinnitus or a ringing in the ears. But for such an accepted ailment many people still deny they suffer from loss of hearing.
A new study from Canada suggests that over half of all Canadians middle-aged and older have some kind of hearing loss, but that 77% of those people do not report any problems. In the US, over 48 million people have some form of hearing loss, but many do not try to deal with it. It’s up for debate whether this denial is deliberate or not, but it’s still true that a considerable number of people let their hearing loss go unchecked – which, in the future, could result in substantial issues.
Why is Hearing Loss Missed by Some people?
That question is a complicated one. Hearing loss is a gradual process, and difficulty understanding people and hearing things go undetected. Or, more frequently, they might blame it on something else – the person they’re talking to 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 people’s first reaction is not usually going to be to get examined or get a hearing test.
Conversely, there might be some individuals who know they’re suffering from hearing loss but refuse to accept it. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors who have hearing problems flat out deny it. They hide their issue in any way they can, either they perceive a stigma around hearing loss or because they don’t want to admit to having a problem.
The concern is, you might be negatively affecting your overall health by ignoring your hearing loss.
There Can be Extreme Repercussions From Untreated Hearing Loss
It’s not only your ears that are affected by loss of hearing – high blood pressure and heart disease have also been associated with hearing loss along with anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.
Research has shown that individuals who have managed their hearing loss with cognitive therapy, changes of diet and hearing aids have better all-around health and longer life spans.
It’s important to identify the signs of hearing loss – chronic ringing or humming in the ears, problems carrying on conversations, needing to turn up the volume of your TV or radio.
How do You Treat Hearing Loss?
You can control your hearing loss with a number of treatments. Hearing aids are the most common type of treatment, and you won’t have the same types of issues that your parents or grandparents did because hearing aid technology has progressed considerably. Hearing aids now have the ability to filter out background noise and wind, while also connecting wirelessly to devices like your radio, TV, or tablet.
A changes in the way you eat could also have a healthy effect on your hearing health if you have anemia. Eating more foods that are high in iron has been shown to help people deal with tinnitus and loss of hearing since iron deficiency anemia has been demonstrated to cause hearing loss.
The most important thing you can do, though, is to have your hearing checked regularly.
Do you think that you’re suffering from loss of hearing? Make an appointment to have a hearing examination.