- Unveiling the Intricate Link Between Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline - February 9, 2024
- How to Protect Your Ears During Recreational Activities - January 9, 2024
- Demystifying Hearing Loss: Dispelling Common Myths and Embracing Advances in Auditory Health - December 9, 2023
People are frequently shocked to find out how common hearing loss actually is. It is impossible to get exact numbers for a lot of reasons, some of which this article will make clear, but the best estimates conclude that around 15% of all adults in The United States live with it. This totals upwards toward 48 million Americans. This includes one-third of everyone aged 65 years old and above and astonishingly, more than half of everyone over the age of 75. Considered another way, this means that among people 75 years old and older it is more likely than not that someone will suffer from hearing loss.
The most tragic statistics though are probably those that reveal how much more likely people are to downplay or even outright ignore their hearing loss than they are to responsibly address it. Less than 20% of everyone who should use a hearing aid actually makes a daily habit of doing so. And among those people that do wear aids, they have procrastinated doing so for an average of seven years. That is a seven year gap between suspecting that they should maybe use a hearing aid and actually doing so.
What Could Explain Such a Delay?
These statistics likely shock you if you really consider them. Basically if you went to an average-sized wedding party with 100 guests, 15 of these guests should be wearing hearing aids, but only three of them are and even these three people all waited seven years to do so.
But consider how hearing loss comes on. It is such an incredibly gradual process, encroaching over such an extended number of years, it is practically impossible for someone to notice that it is happening to them. Much more likely, someone is feeling fatigued anytime they socialize and they are not sure why. They do not realize that they are expending all kinds of extra energy to follow conversations. Their hearing is diminishing. They are filling in dropped words with context clues. They are reading lips.
These subconscious adjustments are exhausting on their own, but even more seriously, as someone’s hearing goes, the neural pathways that they had always counted on to effortlessly transmit sounds from their eardrums to their brains for decoding begin trying to account for the lost signal. And to accomplish this, the neural pathways attempt to rewrite their courses. This quickly causes cognitive decline.
Add this cognitive decline to the emotional, psychological, social, and professional consequences of ignoring or downplaying hearing loss and it is clear to see why active upkeep of one’s hearing health is so essential. Without a definitive moment of realization, people are not likely to be provoked to take action. This is why an annual exam with a specialist is irreplaceable.
Many people just outright deny the existence of the problem. “I can hear perfectly fine,” they claim.
The second most common way that people stall taking accountability for their own health is they admit that the problem is real, but downplay its severity. “It’s not so bad. I can live with it.” they say.
It is ironic, but many people use their age as an excuse. It is just as common for someone to say they don’t need a hearing aid because they’re too young for one as it is for people to say they are too old to make it worth both of adjusting to something new. People who say they are too young are in denial and people who say they are too old are downplaying the severity.
The simplest way to guarantee that you or a loved one is not in denial about your hearing health is to make an appointment with one of our specialists today. There is no way to downplay or ignore objective data.
Today’s Hearing Aids
Taking action to reduce the symptoms of hearing loss will stop its consequences before they multiply. Such an intervention can cease all kinds of unnecessary suffering. No one thinks twice about people wearing glasses, so why should hearing aids be any different? And if it is vanity that is causing you to pause, today’s hearing aids have sleek designs that fit behind your ear and are hardly visible. They are an investment and they will take a period of adjustment, but hearing aids will improve the volume and clarity precisely unique to your needs, practically immediately catapulting your quality of life to new heights.