As we age, hearing loss is normally thought to be an inescapable fact of life. Many older Americans suffer from some type of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a chronic ringing in the ears. But for such an accepted condition lots of people still won’t admit they suffer from hearing loss.
A new study from Canada suggests that over 50 percent of all middle aged or older Canadians suffer from some kind of hearing loss, but that 77% of those individuals do not report any issues. In the United States, over 48 million individuals have some sort of hearing loss, but many do not try to do anything about it. It’s debatable whether this denial is deliberate or not, but the fact remains that a considerable number of individuals let their hearing loss go unchecked – which could bring about substantial problems later on in life.
Why do Some People Not Recognize They Have Hearing Loss?
It’s a tricky question. Hearing loss is a gradual process, and trouble understanding people and hearing things go undetected. Or, more commonly, they might blame it on something else – they think everyone is mumbling, volumes aren’t turned up loud enough, or background noise is too high. There are, unfortunately, a number of things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and having a hearing test or getting checked out, usually, is not a person’s first reaction.
On the other hand, there might be some individuals who know they have hearing loss but won’t accept it. Another study conducted in the United States shows that many seniors flat out deny that they are suffering from a hearing issue. They hide their problem however they can, either they recognize a stigma around 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 noticing you have a hearing problem you could actually be negatively influencing your general health.
Untreated Hearing Loss Can Have a Devastating Affect
Hearing loss does not just affect your ears – heart disease and high blood pressure have also been associated with hearing loss and also anxiety, depression, and mental decline.
Research has demonstrated that people who have loss of hearing normally have shorter life expectancy rates and their general health is not as good as other people who have managed their hearing loss using hearing aids, changes in their diet, or cognitive behavioral treatment.
It’s important to acknowledge the signs of hearing loss – continual ringing or humming in the ears, problems having conversations, having to turn up the volume of your radio or TV.
How Can You Manage Hearing Loss?
You can get your hearing loss under control with several treatment options. 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 not likely you’ll encounter the same problems your grandparents or parents did. Hearing aids can now filter out background noise and wind, while also connecting wirelessly to devices like your TV, tablet, or radio.
A changes in the way you eat could affect the health of your hearing if you suffer from anemia. Eating more foods that are rich in iron has been discovered to help people fight tinnitus and loss of hearing since iron deficiency anemia has been revealed to cause hearing loss.
The most essential thing you can do, however, is to get your hearing examined routinely.
Do you suspect that might have loss of hearing? Schedule an appointment to have a hearing assessment.