As we get older, hearing loss is generally regarded as a fact of life. Many older Americans have some type of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing in the ears. But if a condition like this is so accepted, why do so many people deny that they suffer from hearing loss?
A new study from Canada says that loss of hearing is experienced by more than 50 percent of Canadians, but no problems were reported at all by more than 77% percent of those. In the US, over 48 million people have some type of hearing loss, but many do not attempt to address it. 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, in the future, could result in significant problems.
Why is Hearing Loss Not Recognized by Some people?
That question is a complex one. It’s a slow process when a person loses their hearing, and some people might not recognize that they are having a more difficult time hearing things or comprehending people than they once did. Or, more frequently, they may blame it on something else – they believe 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 having a hearing examination or getting checked out, normally, is not a person’s first reaction.
Conversely, there might be some people who know they have hearing loss but won’t admit it. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors simply refuse to admit that they have a hearing issue. They do what they can to cover up their issue, either because they don’t want to admit to having a problem or because of perceived stigmas surrounding hearing loss.
The difficulty is, you may be negatively impacting your overall health by ignoring your hearing loss.
There Can be Extreme Consequences From Neglected Hearing Loss
Loss of hearing does not exclusively affect your ears – high blood pressure and heart disease have also been associated with hearing loss as well as anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.
Research has shown that individuals who have addressed their hearing loss using cognitive therapy, diet changes and hearing aids have better overall health and longer life spans.
It’s necessary to acknowledge the signs of hearing loss – persistent ringing or humming in the ears, difficulty carrying on conversations, having to crank up the volume of your TV or radio.
What Can be Done About Loss of Hearing?
There are several treatment options you can undertake to get your loss of hearing under control. Hearing aids are the form of treatment that is the most prevalent, and hearing aid technology has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years so it’s unlikely you’ll have the same problems your grandparents or parents did. Modern hearing aids come with Bluetooth functionality so they can connect wirelessly to your smartphone or TV and they are capable of filtering out background noise and wing.
A changing your diet may also have a healthy effect on the health of your hearing if you suffer from anemia. Eating more foods that are high in iron has been discovered to help people combat tinnitus and loss of hearing since iron deficiency anemia has been revealed to result in loss of hearing.
Having your hearing examined routinely, however, is the most important thing you can do.
Do you suspect that might have hearing loss? Make an appointment to have a hearing assessment.