Loss of hearing – it’s normally thought os as a given as we age. Many older Americans have some type of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a chronic ringing in the ears. But for such an accepted affliction many people still deny they suffer from hearing loss.
A new study from Canada posits that more than half of all Canadians middle-aged and older suffer from some type of loss of hearing, but no concerns were reported at all by more than 77% percent of those. In the US, over 48 million individuals have some sort of hearing loss, but many do not try to do anything about it. If this denial is on purpose or not is up for debate, but the fact remains that a considerable number of people allow their loss of hearing to go unchecked – which, down the road, could bring about considerable problems.
Why is Loss of Hearing Not Recognized by Some people?
That question is a complicated one. Hearing loss is a slow process, and some people may not recognize that they are having a more difficult time hearing things or understanding 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, quite a few things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and people’s first reaction is not normally going to be to get examined or get a hearing test.
Conversely, there might be some people who know they’re suffering from hearing loss but refuse to admit it. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors simply deny that they have a hearing problem. They mask their issue however they can, either because they don’t want to admit to having an issue or because of perceived stigmas surrounding hearing loss.
The concern with both of these scenarios is that by denying or not recognizing you have a problem hearing you could actually be negatively affecting your general health.
Untreated Hearing Loss Can Have a Debilitating Impact
Loss of hearing does not exclusively affect your ears – high blood pressure and heart disease have also been linked to hearing loss and also anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.
Research has shown that people who have hearing loss commonly have shorter life expectancy rates and their general health is not as strong as others who have addressed their hearing loss with hearing aids, changes in their diet, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
It’s crucial to acknowledge the indications of hearing loss – problems carrying on conversations, turning up the volume on the radio or TV, or a persistent humming or ringing in your ears.
What Can be Done About Loss of Hearing?
You can control your hearing loss using several treatments. Hearing aids are the form of treatment that is the most common, and you won’t have the same types of issues that your grandparents or parents did because hearing aid technology has progressed appreciably. Contemporary hearing aids have Bluetooth connectivity so they can connect wirelessly to your smartphone or TV and they are capable of filtering out background noise and wing.
A changing your diet may also have a healthy impact on your hearing health if you have anemia. Eating 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.
The most important thing you can do, though, is to get your hearing tested routinely.
Are you worried you could have hearing problems? Visit us and get tested.