Acknowledging the Reality of Hearing Loss

Acknowledging the Reality of Hearing Loss

Though hearing loss is one of the most common medical conditions people live with today, it still remains widely undertreated. Over 48 million, or 1 in 5, people have some degree of hearing loss. But only a third of people who could benefit from treatment, actually receive it. Untreated hearing loss can have profound effects on everyday life, health, and wellness. Symptoms that remain untreated cna strain hearing and communication, relationships, social life, as well as increase a number of health risks including cognitive decline. It is important to know the signs of hearing loss so that you can better acknowledge any changes you may be experiencing to your hearing health. 

Hearing Loss is Often Untreated 

Extensive research shows that there tends to be widespread inaction when it comes to hearing loss. A recent study that investigates this was published by the American Speech- Language -Hearing-Association (ASHA). Researchers surveyed over 2,000 adults and found that:  

  • More than 51% of all adults reported having hearing problems, but only 11% have sought treatment.
  • More than 78% of those with hearing problems have experienced them for 1 or more years. Over 35% have had trouble for 5 or more years.
  • 2 in 10 adults have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, compared with 6 in 10 who have had their vision tested.

These findings show that hearing loss is often not prioritized, even when symptoms have been experienced for several years. This study is part of substantial research that highlights that hearing loss is often untreated. 

Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a medical condition that reduces one’s capacity to hear and process speech as well as sound. This produces a range of symptoms that can impact everyday life in sificantly ways. When these symptoms remain untreated, they can worsen hearing loss and further: 

  • Strain communication: symptoms like tinnitus (ringing or buzzing noise in the ears), sounds being muffled or distorted, and difficulty hearing when there is background noise; make it challenging to engage in conversations. This can contribute to miscommunication, unpleasant interactions, shortened conversations etc. which makes engaging in conversation exhausting. 
  • Impact relationships: strained communication can also take a toll on relationships. People often report feeling unheard or ignored by their loved one with hearing loss. From short conversations to arguing over the volume of the TV, hearing loss can make it tough to spend quality time with loved ones. This can lead to tension, frustration, and distance in relationships over time. 
  • Lead to social withdrawal: to cope with symptoms, people often avoid conversations as much as possible. This includes skipping out on social activities, spending less time with others, and not engaging in hobbies as much. Social withdrawal not only affects relationships and social connection but also mental health. 
  • Increase health risks: substantial research shows that untreated hearing loss can increase a number of health risks. This includes depressive symptoms, cognitive decline, falls, and accidental injuries. 

These effects impact health, happiness, and  overall quality of life. Though acknowledging the reality of hearing loss can be tough, the consequences of ignoring it are significant. 

Treating Hearing Loss

There are numerous hearing healthcare services and resources you can access to address your hearing loss. Treating hearing loss offers countless life-changing benefits that allow people to live full and active lives. The most common treatment is hearing aids which are electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplogy, and process speech as well as sound. Hearing aids provide ample hearing support, alleviating symptoms and maximizing hearing capacity. This equips people with the support needed to navigate everyday environments with greater awareness and ease. Hearing aids strengthen communication which improves relationships, social connection, and health. 

The first step you can take to access treatment is to have your hearing comprehensively evaluated by a hearing healthcare specialist. Hearing tests involve a painless and noninvasive process that measures your hearing capacities in both ears. This identifies any hearing loss and the degree of impairment you are experiencing. This information allows your hearing healthcare provider to tailor treatment to meet your specific hearing needs. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation, we look forward to helping oyu priotize your hearing health and wellness!