As we go through life, certain aspects of our health require routine care. That’s why we get our vision tested annually and visit the dentist on a regular basis. We know it’s important to catch any problems early to prevent them from getting worse. Yet our hearing health is often forgotten and any concerns are simply brushed aside.
Hearing loss is not a topic people usually discuss, but it’s actually quite common. In fact, 50% of Americans ages 75+ have a hearing loss. Most likely, the changes in their hearing started while they were in their 50s. The changes would have been gradual – an unclear word or two during a conversation, or perhaps the beep on the microwave seemed quieter than usual. By the time they reached their 70s, the untreated hearing loss would have significantly impacted their daily life.
This is why regular hearing tests are important. By identifying any early changes in your hearing, not only will your individual needs be cared for, but also the longevity of your hearing can be preserved along with your quality of life.
A Downward Spiral
The ears are sensitive and intricate organs. If the hearing nerves lack stimulation, the brain will create new ways to adapt to this change. Unfortunately, hearing loss cannot be restored, but treatment can help to prevent further damage.
Having a hearing loss isn’t just about not being able to hear clearly. It also affects your social life and mental well-being. As conversations become more difficult to follow, you may find yourself avoiding social situations more frequently. It’s easier to make up excuses as to why you can’t make that lunch date or join in on family celebrations than it is to struggle to hear those around you.
Your work life may also suffer. Staying up to date with meetings, important deadlines, and conversations with clients may become difficult.
By the end of the day, you will feel exhausted and worn out from trying to keep up with everyone. This can negatively impact your relationship with loved ones as you become more irritable and frustrated. As isolation becomes more regular, anxiety and depression are often inevitable.
Seeking treatment at this late stage also brings a new host of challenges. Your brain, which has not been stimulated by certain sounds for often many years, will have to adjust to the multiple sounds you’ve missed out on. Sounds such as the ticking of the clock, the chirping of birds, or the clear sharpness of your grandchildren’s voices. This might seem a bit stressful and exhausting at first while your brain processes this new world around you.
Further Health Concerns
Hearing loss can also be linked to other health issues such as heart disease. Inadequate blood flow can damage the delicate mechanisms inside your ears and lead to hearing loss.
Hearing loss may also negatively impact those with dementia. People with dementia sometimes seem disconnected from their surroundings. While this behaviour is often due to their condition, they may also have a hearing loss that can make them even further isolated.
Next Step to Take
If you are concerned about your hearing, now is the time to take action. Call Hear it All at (512) 357-8000 to arrange a hearing test or click here to book online. We’ll be more than happy to help you get started on your journey to better hearing.
Lori Cook is a Hearing Aid Specialist with over seventeen years’ experience in the hearing healthcare industry. With a bachelor of arts in psychology and a master of science in social work from the University of Texas systems, Lori has a deep sense of concern both for her patients and her community.