As we age, loss of hearing is normally believed to be a fact of life. Hearing loss is experienced by lots of older Americans as is tinnitus or a ringing in the ears. But if a condition like this is so accepted, why is it that so many people won’t admit that they have hearing loss?
A new study from Canada posits that more than half of all middle aged or older Canadians suffer from some type of hearing loss, but that 77% of those individuals do not report any concerns. In the United States, more than 48 million people have some kind of hearing loss, but many do not attempt to deal with it. If this denial is deliberate or not is debatable, but either way, loss of hearing is neglected by a substantial number of people – which could lead to considerable problems later on in life.
Why is Loss of Hearing Missed by Some people?
It’s a tricky question. Hearing loss is a slow process, and trouble comprehending people and hearing things go unnoticed. Or, more commonly, they might blame it on something else – they believe that everyone is mumbling, the TV volume is too low, or background noise is too high. hearing loss can be blamed, unfortunately, on a number of things, and getting a hearing exam or getting checked out, usually, is not a person’s first instinct.
It also happens that some people just won’t acknowledge that they have hearing loss. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors who suffer from hearing issues flat out deny it. They mask their problem however they can, either because they don’t want to acknowledge an issue or because of perceived stigmas associated with hearing loss.
The concern with both of these situations is that by denying or not recognizing you have a hearing problem you could actually be negatively impacting your general health.
Untreated Hearing Loss Can Have a Catastrophic Impact
It’s not only your ears that are affected by loss of hearing – heart disease and high blood pressure have also been linked to hearing loss as well as anxiety, depression, and mental decline.
Research has shown that individuals who have addressed their loss of hearing using cognitive therapy, changes of diet and hearing aids have better general health and longer life expectancy.
It’s important to recognize the signs of hearing loss – trouble carrying on conversations, cranking up the volume on the radio or TV, or a lingering humming or ringing in your ears.
What Can be Done About Loss of Hearing?
There are a number of treatment methods you can undertake to get your hearing loss 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 several years so it’s unlikely you’ll encounter the same problems your parents or grandparents did. Contemporary hearing aids come with Bluetooth connectivity so they can connect wirelessly to your phone or TV and they are capable of filtering out background noise and wing.
A changing the foods you eat could impact the health of your hearing if you have anemia. Consuming 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 revealed to lead to hearing loss.
Getting your hearing examined routinely, however, is the most important thing you can do.
Are you concerned you might have hearing troubles? Schedule an appointment for a hearing test.