As we age, hearing loss is commonly believed to be an inescapable fact of life. Loss of hearing is experienced by lots of older Americans as is tinnitus or a ringing in the ears. But if it’s such an accepted condition, why is it that so many people deny that they deal with loss of hearing?
A new study from Canada suggests that over half of all middle aged or older Canadians cope with some kind of loss of hearing, but that 77% of those people do not document any problems. Some form 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 significant number of people let their hearing loss go unchecked – which could bring about considerable issues down the road.
Why do Some Individuals Not Know They Have Hearing Loss?
That question is a tricky one. It’s a slow process when someone loses their hearing, and trouble understanding people and hearing things go unnoticed. Or, more frequently, they may blame it on something else – they believe everyone is mumbling, the TV volume is too low, or there’s too much background noise. There are, unfortunately, a number of things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and people’s first reaction is not normally going to be to get checked out or get a hearing test.
It also happens that some people just won’t accept that they have hearing loss. Another study conducted in the United States shows that many seniors who have hearing problems flat out deny it. They hide their issue in any way they can, either they recognize a stigma surrounding hearing loss or because they don’t like to admit to having an issue.
The problem is, you may be negatively impacting your general health by ignoring your hearing loss.
Untreated Hearing Loss Can Have a Debilitating Affect
It’s not just your ears that are affected by loss of hearing – it has been linked to different conditions such as depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline, and it can also be a sign of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Research has revealed that people who have managed their hearing loss using cognitive therapy, changes of diet and hearing aids have better overall health and longer life expectancy.
It’s important to recognize the indications of hearing loss – continual ringing or humming in the ears, difficulty carrying on conversations, needing to crank up the volume of your radio or TV.
How Can You Treat Hearing Loss?
There are several treatment methods you can do to get your hearing loss under control. Hearing aids are the form of treatment that is the most common, and hearing aid tech has grown leaps and bounds over the past few years so it’s unlikely you’ll encounter the same problems 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 changing the foods you eat could affect the health of your hearing if you have 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 high in iron.
The foremost thing you can do, however, is to get your hearing checked regularly.
Are you worried you may have hearing troubles? Visit us and get screened.
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