Many people are stunned to learn exactly how common hearing loss actually is. Less than three out of every 1,000 births in the U.S. results in congenital hearing loss. But because hearing loss most frequently comes on gradually as a result of accumulated damage, more and more people suffer from it as they age. Specialists estimate that around 13% of all adults over the age of 18 live with it. That’s over 40 million people. By the time people are 65 years old and above, one out of every three will have some detectable degree of disabling hearing loss. And by the time we look at people aged 75 and older, more than half of the population suffers from hearing loss.
It is likely that these numbers surprise you. Whether you know it or not, you do know someone whose life is impacted directly by hearing loss. But perhaps the most shocking of all the statistics about hearing loss is the number of people that do not seek appropriate treatment to deal with their condition. In fact, it is believed that less than 20% of all people who suffer from hearing loss seek treatment. Put another way, more than four out of every five people that suffer from hearing loss do so without seeking appropriate treatment.
Why People Resist Appropriate Treatment
It is common for people to downplay how serious hearing loss really is. Part of this is that hearing loss comes on so gradually, most people will not even realize that they are suffering from it until they are already pretty far along. Unless someone is keeping up with regular hearing exams to objectively measure how exactly their hearing measures up to where it should be according to common standards of health, it is often up to our friends and loved ones to recognize the hearing loss is coming and point it out. You are unlikely to notice if you are turning up the television a smidge louder than you were before. You are unlikely to notice that you are reading lips. Most people who depend on doing so do not even know that they do. The more likely scenario is that your friends and loved ones will notice that your television is unbearably loud or you are asking them to repeat themselves a lot and having trouble following conversations.
So if you are slow to pick up on the fact that hearing loss is even occurring, of course you downplay it. You figure you have been getting along OK so far without even knowing that there was a problem. But hearing loss is so much more than a minor inconvenience that you can adapt to. Left untreated, hearing loss more often than not unravels into all kinds of social, emotional, and psychological effects, not to mention the physical risks and social professional losses that amplify greatly.
Hearing loss is irreversible and permanent, but with proper treatment is is entirely manageable. But the side effects compound each other, so it is imperative to seek appropriate treatment immediately.
Misconceptions About Hearing Aids
A further reason that people are likely to downplay the severity of their hearing loss is the common psychological defenses that we all have embedded within us. No one likes to admit that they are growing older. And people might see taking action to properly treat their hearing loss with an admission of defeat to the unrelenting passing of the years. But nothing could be further from the truth. Seeking appropriate treatment is taking control of your own destiny.
With this simple guide we can knock down the common excuses that people make to forgo wearing their hearing aids.
Hearing aids do not simply amplify sounds. Every hearing aid is programmed uniquely to your specific needs, amplifying different frequencies differently. They are not simply boosting the volume. This means that annoying feedback is not really an issue anymore with modern hearing aids.
Most modern hearing aids come with a myriad of features easing their compatibility with contemporary technology. Contrary to outdated stereotypes, everything from talking on the phone to navigating public spaces is simplified by wearing hearing aids.
Simple vanity is enough to make some people hesitate. They do not want to look old. But contemporary hearing aids are discreet, usually around 1.5 cm long, and rest behind your ear.
It Is Up To You
Just as every one of us has innumerable life experiences and circumstances that make each of our lives truly distinct, so too is each person’s experience with hearing loss. Only you can say what exactly your priorities are. Hearing aids are an investment, but the greater cost is when you fail to act. Make an appointment with one of our specialists today.