Of the two most common types of hearing loss, age-related loss is almost inevitable for those who reach the senior years of age 70 and above. In the case of the other most common type of hearing loss—noise-induced loss—there are steps you can take to protect yourself, such as wearing earplugs and limiting noise exposure. Yet, there is no known preventative measure you can take to protect yourself from age-related hearing loss. Even more, this type of sensorineural hearing loss causes permanent damage to the tiny hairlike organelles of the inner ear called stereocilia.
With such a common and permanent form of hearing loss, it comes as a huge surprise that so many seniors continue without treatment. The latest hearing aids are remarkably suited to our individual needs, making it possible to reap the benefits of assistance during conversations and in the places we frequent. The reasons for leaving hearing loss untreated are as varied as the individuals who need assistance, so let’s consider some of the common reasons that people don’t receive help with their age-related hearing loss.
The Knowledge Gap
For some people, a knowledge gap prevents them from getting treatment for age-related hearing loss. It is quite possible to need help with hearing and not realize that you have hearing loss at all. The process of developing age-related hearing loss can be quite slow and gradual, making it possible for some people to adjust slowly over time to their limited ability. Other people do not realize that treatment can help. They might think that hearing aids are only for people with moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss, when in fact they can help those with even mild hearing loss. These gaps in knowledge emerge from many sources, but all it takes is the right prompting to understand what treatment can do for someone with age-related hearing loss.
Some people understand that they have age-related hearing loss, but they engage in a whole range of avoidance tactics to prevent themselves from getting treatment. For some, the admission of a need for treatment is tantamount to admitting to old age, so they would rather continue without assistance. Others put off getting a hearing test because it seems like too much of a hassle, when the truth is that living with hearing loss causes far more trouble. Others might avoid treatment due to the mistaken belief that they are getting by just fine without it. When it comes to age-related hearing loss, the feeling that one is getting by just fine is actually a factor that causes a chain reaction of negative health and wellness outcomes.
An extension of avoidance tactics are the false beliefs that some people hang onto as a means to avoid getting treatment. Some believe that hearing aids don’t function very well, and that belief is likely based on old models from decades ago. The latest hearing aids have remarkable features and functions, not only enabling better hearing ability but also fitting seamlessly into your active lifestyle. Some people with age-related hearing loss think that using these devices will be more of a hassle than a benefit, but the overwhelming response by those who get hearing aids is the contrary.
Those who take the time to properly adjust to hearing aids tend to find that they are well suited to a wide range of contexts for communication! If you are ready to experience the benefits of hearing loss treatment, contact us today!