As we age, hearing loss is commonly thought to be a fact of life. Loss of hearing is experienced by lots of older Americans and so 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 suffer from loss of hearing?
A new study from Canada posits that over 50 percent of all Canadians middle-aged and older have some kind of hearing loss, but that 77% of those people do not document any concerns. Some type of hearing loss is experienced by over 48 million Americans and goes un-addressed. It’s up for debate whether this denial is deliberate or not, but it’s still true that a substantial number of people allow their loss of hearing to go unchecked – which could lead to considerable problems later on in life.
Why do Some People Not Know They Suffer From Hearing Loss?
That matter is a complex one. It’s a slow 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 comprehending people than they used to. A lot of times they blame everybody else around them – they think that everyone is mumbling, the TV volume is too low, or background noise is too high. There are, unfortunately, numerous 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.
Conversely, there might be some people who know they’re suffering from hearing loss but won’t admit it. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors who suffer from hearing problems flat out deny it. They hide their issue however they can, either because they don’t want to acknowledge a problem or because of perceived stigmas attached to hearing loss.
The problem with both of these situations is that by denying or not noticing you have a problem hearing you could actually be negatively influencing your general health.
There Can be Serious Consequences From Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss does not exclusively affect your ears – 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 demonstrated that people who have hearing loss commonly have shorter life expectancy rates and their general health is not as good as others who have dealt with their hearing loss with hearing aids, changes in their diet, or cognitive behavioral treatment.
It’s crucial to recognize the indications of hearing loss – problems carrying on conversations, cranking up the volume on the TV and radio, or a chronic humming or ringing in your ears.
How Can You Treat Hearing Loss?
You can get your hearing loss under control with a number of treatments. Hearing aids are the most common type of treatment, and hearing aid technology has developed by leaps and bounds over the last few years so it’s unlikely you’ll encounter the same problems your grandparents or parents did. Modern hearing aids have Bluetooth functionality so they can connect wirelessly to your phone or TV and they have the ability to filter out wind and background noise.
A dietary changes could affect 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 consuming foods that are rich in iron.
Having your hearing tested on a regular basis, however, is the most significant thing you can do.
Are you concerned you might have hearing problems? Schedule an appointment for a hearing examination.