Why People Avoid Treating Hearing Loss -- and Why You Should Schedule a Hearing Test!

Why People Avoid Treating Hearing Loss — and Why You Should Schedule a Hearing Test!

Robert Weissman, Au.D., B.C.A., CCC-AHearing Health, Hearing Test, Research

Robert Weissman, Au.D., B.C.A., CCC-A

The word ‘procrastination is derived from the Greek word ‘akrasia,’ which means to act against one’s better judgment. It’s because of this self-awareness that procrastinating makes us feel so bad. When we procrastinate, we are mindful that we are not only avoiding the job at hand but that doing so is also potentially a bad idea. Despite this, we continue to do so.

We procrastinate on many things, but one of the few that we procrastinate on the most is our health, including our ability to hear.

Many people sleep on getting their hearing tested for years after noticing a change in their hearing. Perhaps they are afraid of being told that their hearing isn’t what it used to be, or they believe they are the only ones who have this problem. They don’t have to be this way; hearing loss is not only treatable but also widespread. 

The stats on hearing loss

Let’s look at some startling details about hearing loss in the United States:

  • The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that noise-induced hearing loss affects 15% of Americans aged 20 to 69.
  • Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common problems that older people face: Hearing loss affects one out of every three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74. Almost half of those over 75 have trouble hearing.
  • Workplace hearing loss is also widespread: according to the CDC, four million employees are exposed to potentially harmful noise every day, ten million people in the United States have noise-related hearing loss, and twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially harmful noise each year.

If your hearing loss is due to noise exposure, aging, or something else, the facts show that you are not alone.

What happens if you don’t treat your hearing loss?

Hearing loss treatment has a lot of benefits, but it also has a lot of disadvantages. Hearing loss that is left untreated, according to studies, may have severe consequences for both the body and the mind.

One of the most compelling reasons to seek treatment for hearing loss is that it has decreased cognitive capacity when left untreated. According to a Johns Hopkins University report, hearing loss was found to cause a 41% higher risk of cognitive decline in seniors. There are two main reasons for this: the first is that hearing loss can lead to increased isolation and depression, which raises Alzheimer’s and dementia risk factors. The second is that while the brain works to decode degraded speech signals, it has fewer resources to devote to other activities, causing memory and comprehension to deteriorate.

Hearing failure that is not handled may hurt personal relationships. When contact between those with hearing loss and their friends and family becomes more complex, many people with hearing loss withdraw from social interactions, creating even more distance between themselves and others around them.

Finally, untreated hearing loss has been shown to have a detrimental impact on overall health and well-being and increase the risk of falls and injuries.

It’s time to book a hearing test.

The best thing to know about hearing loss is that it can be treated. According to research, hearing aids seem to have significant advantages for people who use them early in their hearing loss. Hearing aids can help with communication by 

  • making it easier for the brain to hear and understand sounds.
  • reducing mental fatigue
  • reducing feelings of social isolation and depression
  • improving memory, attention, and focus
  •  improving social interactions

Even if you don’t notice any signs of hearing loss, experts recommend having your hearing checked at least once a year, so that should be on your to-do list. Get the support of a friend or family member if you’re afraid to move on your own. There’s no need to ignore your hearing loss because there are so many benefits to doing so.

Are you ready to book your annual hearing test? Make an appointment with us right away!