There are things everyone knows they should do once a year, like see their doctor for a checkup and have a dentist examine their teeth. There’s a crucial item, however, that people often neglect to add to their list of necessary annual appointments. A hearing test.
A good hearing instrument specialist can detect whether you’ve experienced any hearing loss. If you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss, they can determine if changes call for the reprogramming or replacement of your hearing aid.
A Checkup Can Reveal If You Have Hearing Loss
You might think, “There’s no way I have hearing loss. I’d know if I did.” Actually, it’s entirely possible to ignore slowly-encroaching hearing loss, and many people do.
A person’s range of sounds can diminish so slowly they fail to notice. Meanwhile, they may unconsciously compensate for their hearing loss. A person with undiagnosed hearing loss may, for instance, turn their TV or music up significantly or speak more loudly than formerly. Friends and family members often notice a person’s hearing loss before they do.
Sometimes people feel they’re too young to have hearing loss. While hearing impairment is more common in older people, it can strike at any age. Some 48 million Americans are affected by hearing loss. Common causes include exposure to loud noises due to occupation or hobbies—think target shooting, loud concerts, and motorsports—as well as aging.
During your hearing test, you can also mention any other issues you’ve been experiencing. For instance, hearing loss and noise damage sometimes lead to the development of tinnitus. It’s a phantom sound in the ears that ranges in sound from ringing to screeching and in severity from merely annoying to truly distressing.
In most cases, there is no cure for tinnitus. With all of the recent technological advances, however, it’s becoming increasingly treatable.
A Checkup May Prompt You To Accept A Previous Diagnosis
People very often ignore a diagnosis of hearing loss. In fact, it takes the average person 7 years after being diagnosed with hearing loss to be fitted with hearing aids. There are a number of common reasons for this procrastination, including:
- Concern hearing aids will make you look old or incapable
- Doubt hearing aids can help with severe hearing loss
- Fear hearing aids will be too costly
- Worry that hearing aids will be unsightly
The truth is hearing aids have never been so small or discreet. There’s also a wide range of prices for these invaluable devices, depending on whether you opt for a bare-bones model or one equipped with advanced digital technology.
Living With Untreated Hearing Loss Has a High Cost
A pair of state-of-the-art hearing aids can be pricey, but no device is as costly as living with untreated hearing loss. The resulting muffling of the world is bad for a person both on a social and physical level.
People with untreated hearing loss are at risk of socially isolation. They may avoid situations where struggling to make out words and sounds is difficult, from crowded restaurants to speaking engagements.
Impaired communication and misunderstandings can also put a strain on meaningful relationships, such as the one you enjoy with your spouse. A 2000 survey conducted by the National Council on Aging found higher rates of depression and anxiety among adults with untreated hearing loss.
Untreated Hearing Loss Takes a Physical Toll
If you go too long without the hearing aids you need, you can lose the ability to hear certain sounds altogether. Further, a connection has been found between untreated hearing loss and the diminishment of memory and other brain functions.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted a longitudinal comparing senior citizens with healthy hearing to those with untreated hearing loss. They was found people in the latter category had a 41 percent greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of cognitive decline.
The exact cause of this correlation is unknown, but there are three prevailing hypotheses:
- Hearing loss leads to social isolation, which is a risk factor for dementia.
- Reduced audiological input leads to reduced brain activity.
- The long-term strain of decoding words and sounds makes the brain more vulnerable to dementia.
At Modern Hearing Solutions, we believe no case of hearing loss should go undetected or untreated. Are you ready to take a hearing test, get fitted with hearing aids, start managing your tinnitus obtain hearing protection?
Contact us today to make your appointment.