Hearing loss – it’s usually considered a given as we age. Many older Americans suffer from some kind of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing in the ears. But if it’s such an accepted condition, why is it that so many people deny that they have hearing loss?
A new study from Canada reports that loss of hearing is experienced by more than 50 percent of Canadians, but that 77% of those individuals don’t document any issues. Some form of hearing loss is impacting over 48 million Americans and untreated. If this denial is deliberate or not is debatable, but the fact remains that a significant number of people allow their loss of hearing to go unchecked – which could result in substantial issues later on in life.
Why do Some Individuals Not Recognize They Have Loss of Hearing?
It’s a complex question. Loss of hearing is a slow process, and some people might not notice that they have a harder time hearing things or comprehending 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 background noise is too high. hearing loss can be blamed, unfortunately, on quite a few things, and people’s first reaction is not normally going to be to get examined or have a hearing test.
On the other hand, there may be some people who know they have hearing loss but refuse to accept it. Another study conducted in the United States shows that many seniors who have hearing issues flat out deny it. They hide their issue in any way they can, either because they don’t want to acknowledge an issue or because of perceived stigmas attached to hearing loss.
The trouble with both of these situations is that by denying or not realizing you have a problem hearing you could actually be negatively impacting your overall health.
There Can be Serious Consequences From Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss does not exclusively affect your ears – high blood pressure and heart disease have also been connected to hearing loss and also anxiety, depression, and mental decline.
Research has shown that people suffering from hearing loss generally have shorter life expectancy rates and their level of health is not as strong as people who have addressed their hearing loss with hearing aids, changes in their diet, or cognitive behavioral treatment.
It’s important to recognize the signs of hearing loss – persistent humming or ringing in the ears, trouble having conversations, needing to turn up the volume of your TV or radio.
What Can You Do to Manage Hearing Loss?
You can get your hearing loss under control with several treatments. Hearing aids are the most prevalent type of treatment, and you won’t experience the same types of issues that your grandparents or parents did because hearing aid tech has progressed considerably. Hearing aids can now filter out background noise and wind, while also connecting wirelessly to devices like your radio, TV, or tablet.
A changing the way you eat could also have a positive impact on your hearing health if you suffer from anemia. Since anemia iron deficiency has been demonstrated to cause hearing loss, people who suffer from tinnitus can be helped by eating foods that are rich in iron.
Having your hearing checked routinely, however, is the most significant thing you can do.
Are you concerned you may have hearing problems? Come in and get screened.