As we get older, hearing loss is typically looked at as an inescapable fact of life. Lots of older Americans suffer from some kind of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a continuous ringing in the ears. But if a condition like this is so accepted, why is it that 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 half of Canadians, but that 77% of those individuals don’t report any issues. In the United States, more than 48 million people have some form of hearing loss, but many do not try to do anything about it. Whether this denial is on purpose or not is up for debate, but in either case, loss of hearing is ignored by a substantial number of people – which could bring about substantial problems down the road.
Why is Loss of Hearing Not Recognized by Some people?
That question is a tricky one. Hearing loss is a gradual process, and trouble understanding people and hearing things go undetected. Or, more frequently, they could blame it on something else – the person they’re talking to is mumbling, volumes aren’t turned up loud enough, or there’s too much background interference. There are, unfortunately, a number of things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and having a hearing exam or getting checked out, usually, is not a person’s first instinct.
It also happens that some people just won’t accept that they suffer from hearing loss. Another study conducted in the United States shows that many seniors who have hearing issues flat out deny it. They hide their issue however they can, either they recognize a stigma surrounding hearing loss or because they don’t like to admit to having an issue.
The problem with both of these situations is that by denying or not recognizing you have a problem hearing you could actually be negatively influencing your overall health.
There Can be Serious Consequences From Untreated Hearing Loss
It’s not just your ears that are affected by loss of hearing – it has been connected to various conditions such as anxiety, cognitive decline, and depression, and it can also be a symptom of high blood pressure and heart disease.
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 other people who have addressed their hearing loss using hearing aids, dietary changes, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
It’s important to identify the signs of hearing loss – problems carrying on conversations, turning up the volume on the TV and radio, or a persistent ringing or humming in your ears.
What Can be Done to Manage Hearing Loss?
There are several treatments you can do to get your loss of hearing under control. Hearing aids are the most common type of treatment, and hearing aid tech has developed by leaps and bounds over the past few years so it’s unlikely you’ll encounter the same issues your parents or grandparents did. Hearing aids now have the ability to filter out background noise and wind, while also wirelessly connecting to devices like your radio, TV, or tablet.
A changes in the way you eat could affect the health of your hearing if you suffer from anemia. Since anemia iron deficiency has been revealed to cause loss of hearing, people who suffer from tinnitus can be helped by eating foods that are rich in iron.
The most important thing you can do, however, is to have your hearing tested regularly.
Do you suspect that you’re suffering from hearing loss? Schedule an appointment for a hearing examination.