As we age, loss of hearing is normally regarded as a fact of life. Hearing loss is experienced by lots of older Americans and so is tinnitus or a ringing in the ears. But for such an accepted condition many people still won’t admit they suffer from loss of hearing.
A new study from Canada suggests that more than 50 percent of all middle aged or older Canadians cope with some type of hearing loss, but that 77% of those people don’t document any problems. In the United States, more than 48 million individuals have some sort of hearing loss, but many do not attempt to address it. It’s up for debate whether this denial is on purpose or not, but in either case, loss of hearing is neglected by a significant number of individuals – which could bring about significant issues down the road.
Why do Some People Not Recognize They Suffer From Hearing Loss?
It’s a tricky question. Loss of hearing is a slow process, and problems comprehending people and hearing things go unnoticed. Many times they blame everyone else around them – they think everyone is mumbling, the TV volume is too low, or background noise is too high. hearing loss can be blamed, unfortunately, on a number of things, and people’s first instinct is not normally going to be to get examined 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 lots of seniors who suffer from hearing problems flat out deny it. They do what they can to cover up their problem, either they perceive a stigma surrounding hearing loss or because they don’t like to admit to having a problem.
The concern with both of these scenarios is that by denying or not recognizing you have a problem hearing you could actually be negatively influencing your overall health.
Neglected Hearing Loss Can Have a Debilitating Impact
It’s not only your ears that are impacted by hearing loss – high blood pressure and heart disease have also been linked to hearing loss and also anxiety, depression, and mental decline.
Research has shown that people who have loss of hearing generally have shorter life expectancy rates and their general health is not as good as other people who have treated their hearing loss with hearing aids, dietary changes, or cognitive behavioral treatment.
It’s important to recognize the signs of hearing loss – trouble having conversations, turning up the volume on the radio or TV, or a lingering humming or ringing in your ears.
What Can be Done About Hearing Loss?
You can get your hearing loss under control with several treatments. Hearing aids are the type of treatment that is the most prevalent, and hearing aid tech has grown leaps and bounds over the last several years so it’s not likely you’ll have the same issues your parents or grandparents did. Contemporary hearing aids come with Bluetooth functionality so they can connect wirelessly to your smartphone 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. Consuming more foods that are rich in iron has been shown to help people combat tinnitus and loss of hearing since iron deficiency anemia has been shown to cause loss of hearing.
Getting your hearing checked routinely, however, is the most important thing you can do.
Do you suspect that might have loss of hearing? Come in and get screened.