When you can’t hear friends talking around the dinner table, your grandbaby crying in the next room, or you weren’t even aware that your co-worker was behind you at the door speaking to you, you know you can’t put off the decision any longer; It’s time for a hearing aid.
By age 65, one out of three Americans experience hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America, yet very few older Americans seek help. They delay getting fitted with a hearing aid for over 10 years, on average.
Why the Reluctance to Wearing a Hearing Device?
Age-related hearing loss usually comes on gradually. Not until the loss is significantly noticeable to you and others like your loved ones do people usually accept the problem and make the decision to see a hearing specialist. Why is that?
For some, it’s not an easy decision. For many seniors, hearing loss is a sign of aging. Like other losses, we’re at first in denial, then we might be angry, then depression might set in before we accept our condition. If you’re having problems hearing, you probably didn’t make the connection between your hearing loss and some of the negative emotions you’ve been experiencing over the years … feelings that often accompany those who aren’t hearing properly: frustration, anxiety, feeling isolated, fatigued
Hearing loss comes with a broad set of unnecessary challenges. Listening and understanding requires more work, particularly when there’s a lot of surrounding or competing noise or voices. It requires more concentration and focus. Increased listening is tiring, even with mild hearing loss. And the sneaky thing about mild hearing loss is you and others may not even be aware of it for years. That’s why it’s a good idea to get tested if you think you might not be hearing as well as you used to or when you approach the age when hearing loss typically starts taking place: in your 60s.
Vanity, shyness, or embarrassment often keep seniors back from taking action, even when they know there’s a problem. Some see hearing loss as a sign of weakness. Others are reluctant to show their age by having a hearing device visible to others. So you keep putting off taking action. You continue to not fully engage with people – especially groups of people, you have trouble following some words in a conversation, and you don’t dare tell someone you can’t hear what they just said. You keep silent. You have less interaction with people.
A Positive Move for So Many
A lot of times family members will try to intervene, attempt to get their loved one to recognize they have a problem. Sometimes it takes a serious event, like losing a job or not being able to hear sounds that could affect one’s life or the safety of others to finally get the message … loud and clear. Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person with the hearing problem. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution.
Some things to know about age-related hearing loss:
Hearing loss is a major public health issue, the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease.
One of the first signs of hearing loss is often an inability to hear and understand speech in noisy environments.
Presbycusis, meaning changes are taking place in the inner ear as you age, can cause a slow but steady hearing loss. The loss may be mild or severe, and it’s permanent.
In older people, a hearing loss is often confused with dementia.
The majority of those who finally get hearing aids and follow-up with visits to an audiologist experience positive results.
The staff at Acuity Hearing Centers help minimize the impact of transitioning into a hearing device. We use the most advanced equipment available and have devices that are elegantly styled so that no one has to know you’re wearing one.
The secret that most people reluctant to get tested and fitted for a hearing aid often don’t discover until they hear those first clear and crisp words spoken by the audiologist through their new hearing aid is that life is going to get better – starting immediately.