As we get older, the chances increase that we will have to cope with hearing loss. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, 48 million Americans are living with some degree of hearing loss. Unfortunately, people experiencing hearing loss typically wait seven years after the first symptoms appear before seeking help.
Many older adults choose to ignore their hearing loss, which can negatively affect their social lives. Warning signs include frequently asking friends and family members to repeat what they have said more slowly and loudly, as well as withdrawing from social situations because they find it difficult to communicate effectively.
You know your hearing is important. Our hearing empowers us. With it, we can go out with friends, work, and communicate with those we care about. It also helps us stay connected to the outside world and keeps us safe. Our hearing even helps us relax. Sadly, we often take it for granted that we’ll always be able to hear.
So when your hearing declines – and if you’re like most people, it will – you’ll feel it physically and emotionally. It has an effect on your overall quality of life. Hearing loss can even lead to feelings of isolation.
For these reasons, it’s important to recognize the early signs of hearing loss so potential treatment options can be explored. Fortunately, most types of hearing loss are treatable. If you are suffering from hearing loss and are frustrated about missing important conversations, you should contact a hearing professional in your area immediately. These experts will help determine your level of hearing loss, as well as whether your hearing – and overall health – would benefit from wearing hearing aids.
For those suffering from age-related hearing loss, research has shown that wearing hearing aids has many benefits, including improvements in the ability to hear in social situations and communicating with others. Hearing aids make it easier for older adults to continue their normal routines and interact socially with friends, family members and the other individuals with whom they communicate each day.
According to research studies conducted at Johns Hopkins University, hearing loss has been associated with many health concerns from mental acuity, loss of memory, depression, as well as an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Treating hearing conditions helps to prevent these health concerns.
Communication is an important part of personal relationships, particularly with friends and family members. Hearing loss can lead to miscommunications, frustration and ill will between friends and family members.
Safety is also a concern for those suffering from hearing loss. Wearing hearing aids ensures that you will be able to respond to important sounds and warnings that occur in your daily life – including alarms, sirens, cell phones, oven timers, doorbells, car alarms, and horns, as well as other traffic noises that indicate approaching vehicles.
If you are suffering from hearing loss and are a member of the workforce, it can lead to frustration, missed details, and ultimately lower your ability to earn. (Hearing loss can have a negative impact on your income.) The use of hearing aids can help.
Family members can be of great help to an older adult with hearing loss, but it’s also imperative that the individual with hearing loss takes the initiative. If you are suffering from hearing loss, you need to undergo hearing tests and commit to treatment (such as wearing hearing aids regularly), so you can once again hear all the sounds and conversations that are important in your daily life. Ultimately, it’s important to know that you aren’t alone. With help from family members, hearing professionals and hearing aids, you can avoid feelings of isolation and once again socialize with your cherished friends and family members.