Hearing loss – it’s normally perceived as a given as we age. Many older Americans suffer from some kind of hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a continuous ringing in the ears. But if it’s such an accepted condition, why is it that so many people won’t admit that they have loss of hearing?
A new study from Canada says that hearing loss is experienced by over half of Canadians, but that 77% of those individuals do not document any problems. In the US, more than 48 million individuals have some form of hearing loss, but many do not attempt to address it. It’s up for debate whether this denial is deliberate or not, but in either case, loss of hearing is ignored by a substantial number of people – which, later on, could bring about considerable issues.
Why do Some People Not Know They Suffer From Hearing Loss?
That question is a complex one. Hearing loss is a slow process, and problems understanding people and hearing things go undetected. Or, more commonly, they may 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, quite a few 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.
It also happens that some people just won’t admit that they suffer from hearing loss. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors simply refuse to admit that they have a hearing issue. They do what they can to hide their issue, either they perceive a stigma around hearing loss or because they don’t like to admit to having a problem.
The concern with both of these scenarios is that by rejecting or not recognizing you have a hearing problem you could actually be negatively impacting your general health.
Neglected Hearing Loss Can Have a Debilitating Affect
Hearing loss does not only affect your ears – high blood pressure and heart disease have also been associated with hearing loss along with anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.
Research has revealed that people who have managed their loss of hearing using cognitive therapy, diet changes and hearing aids have better overall health and longer life spans.
It’s important to recognize the signs of hearing loss – continual humming or ringing in the ears, trouble carrying on conversations, needing to turn up the volume of your radio or TV.
What Can be Done to Manage Hearing Loss?
There are several treatment options you can do to get your loss of hearing under control. Hearing aids are the most common type of treatment, and hearing aid technology has developed by leaps and bounds over the last several years so it’s unlikely you’ll have the same problems your parents or grandparents did. Hearing aids can now filter out background noise and wind, while also connecting wirelessly to devices like your radio, TV, or tablet.
A dietary changes could affect your hearing health if you have anemia. Since anemia iron deficiency has been demonstrated to cause hearing loss, 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 checked routinely.
Are you worried you could have hearing problems? Come in and get checked.