Loss of hearing – it’s usually perceived as a given as we age. Lots of older Americans have some kind of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a chronic ringing in the ears. But for such an accepted problem many people still deny they deal with loss of hearing.
A new study from Canada says that loss of hearing is experienced by over half of Canadians, but that 77% of those people don’t report any issues. In the US, more than 48 million people have some form of hearing loss, but many do not attempt to do anything about it. If this denial is deliberate or not is up for debate, but in either case, hearing loss is disregarded by a considerable number of individuals – which, down the road, could bring about significant problems.
Why is Hearing Loss Not Recognized by Some people?
It’s a complex matter. It’s a gradual process when someone loses their ability to hear, and some people might not recognize that they are having a more difficult time hearing things or understanding people than they used to. Or, more frequently, they might blame it on something else – they believe everyone is mumbling, volumes aren’t turned up loud enough, or there’s too much background interference. There are, unfortunately, a number of things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and people’s first instinct is not usually going to be to get checked out or have a hearing test.
It also happens that some individuals just won’t accept that they suffer from hearing loss. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors who have hearing problems flat out deny it. They mask their issue however they can, either they recognize a stigma surrounding hearing loss or because they don’t want to admit to having an issue.
The concern with both of these situations is that by rejecting or not noticing you have a problem hearing you could actually be negatively affecting your general health.
Neglected Hearing Loss Can Have a Devastating Affect
It’s not only your ears that are affected by loss of hearing – it has been linked to various ailments such as anxiety, cognitive decline, and depression, and it can also be a symptom of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Research has revealed that people who have loss of hearing commonly have shorter life expectancy rates and their general health is not as strong as others who have dealt with their hearing loss with hearing aids, dietary changes, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
It’s crucial to acknowledge the indications of hearing loss – difficulty having conversations, cranking 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 treatments. Hearing aids are the type of treatment that is the most prevalent, and hearing aid technology has developed by leaps and bounds over the last several years so it’s unlikely you’ll have the same issues your parents or grandparents did. Hearing aids can now filter out background noise and wind, while also connecting wirelessly to devices like your TV, tablet, or radio.
A dietary changes could also have a beneficial effect on your hearing health if you suffer from anemia. Consuming more foods that are rich in iron has been shown to help people deal with tinnitus and hearing loss since iron deficiency anemia has been shown to lead to loss of hearing.
Having your hearing tested regularly, however, is the most important thing you can do.
Are you worried you may have hearing problems? Schedule an appointment to have a hearing assessment.