Hearing Loss is an Invisible Problem
It may seem surprising to you, but 20% of the people in America do not seek any kind of help or treatment for their hearing loss. Even though hearing loss ranks as the third most prevalent health condition in America, people simply do not take it as seriously as they should.
Out of all the people in the United States, 17% adults have a hearing problem, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. This amounts to a whopping 36 million Americans! The chances of developing hearing loss increase with age, with about 50% of people aged 75 and above having some sort of hearing problem. With so many people being affected by hearing loss, it is a wonder that 20% of them do not end up seeking help.
People who wear hearing aids tend to wait for more than a decade before they finally get their hearing tested. Studies indicate that the longer you wait to seek help, the worse your hearing gets. Moreover, your hearing loss affects not only your auditory health but your general physical, psychological, and emotional well-being.
Loss of hearing due to advanced age is known as presbycusis. This type of hearing loss is a gradual process that occurs over a period of several years. It generally tends to affect both the ears with equal intensity. A common symptom faced by those with this type of hearing loss is the inability to hear soft or high pitched sounds and difficulty in following speech sounds.
Many people ignore presbycusis or put it down to one of the many annoyances of becoming old. People often make fun of the elderly because of their hearing difficulties, so much so that hearing loss has become notoriously linked with old age. Presbycusis can be frustrating both for those who have it and those who try to communicate with the affected individual.
Hearing loss only tends to worsen without treatment, which is why it is a good idea to seek timely treatment at the first signs of hearing loss. Communication problems, problems at work, conflict in interpersonal relationships, and other negative consequences arise due to untreated hearing loss.
A study that examined 4,000 adults with hearing loss who had not sought help, as well as their partners. The findings indicated that those with hearing loss and their respective partners both had a higher level of depression, anxiety, as well as various other psychological difficulties. This indicates that untreated hearing damage can adversely impact not only yourself but also your loved ones.
Thankfully, most cases of hearing loss can be treated successfully using hearing aids. If you or someone you love shows signs of hearing loss, do not hesitate to get your hearing tested by a hearing care professional. It can go a long way in preserving your health and the health of your loved ones.