As we get older, hearing loss is commonly thought to be a fact of life. Many older Americans suffer from some type of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing in the ears. But if it’s such an accepted condition, why do so many people deny that they have loss of hearing?
A new study from Canada posits that more than half of all Canadians middle-aged and older cope with some kind of loss of hearing, but no issues were reported at all by more than 77% percent of those. Some kind of hearing loss is experienced by more than 48 million Americans and untreated. It’s up for debate whether this denial is on purpose or not, but the fact remains that a substantial number of individuals let their hearing loss go unchecked – which could cause substantial problems later on in life.
Why do Some People Not Recognize They Suffer From Hearing Loss?
It’s a complex matter. It’s a gradual process when somebody loses their hearing, and difficulty understanding people and hearing things go unnoticed. Many times they blame everyone else around them – they think that everyone is mumbling, volumes aren’t turned up loud enough, or background noise is too high. There are, unfortunately, quite a few things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and people’s first instinct is not normally going to be to get checked out or get a hearing test.
On the other hand, there might be some people who know they’re suffering from 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 mask their issue in any way they can, either because they don’t want to admit to having a problem or because of perceived stigmas attached to hearing loss.
The concern with both of these situations is that by denying or not noticing you have a hearing problem you could actually be negatively affecting your general health.
Neglected Hearing Loss Can Have a Devastating Affect
Loss of hearing does not just impact your ears – high blood pressure and heart disease have also been linked to hearing loss as well as anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.
Research has revealed that people suffering from hearing loss generally have shorter life expectancy rates and their level of health is not as good as others who have treated their hearing loss using hearing aids, dietary changes, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
It’s crucial to acknowledge the signs of hearing loss – difficulty having conversations, cranking up the volume on the TV and radio, or a persistent humming or ringing in your ears.
What Can be Done About Loss of Hearing?
You can control your hearing loss using a number of treatments. Hearing aids are the type of treatment that is the most common, and you won’t experience the same kinds of issues that your grandparents or parents did because hearing aid tech has advanced appreciably. Contemporary hearing aids come with Bluetooth connectivity so they can connect wirelessly to your smartphone or TV and they are capable of filtering out wind and background noise.
A dietary changes might also have a healthy impact on the health of your hearing if you have anemia. Since anemia iron deficiency has been shown to cause loss of hearing, people who suffer from tinnitus can be helped by eating foods that are high in iron.
Getting your hearing checked regularly, however, is the most important thing you can do.
Do you think that might have loss of hearing? Visit us and get checked.