There are many ways people avoid tending to their hearing health. If you believe a loved one could benefit from a visit to a hearing health care professional, listen for these common excuses that may signal that a visit to a hearing doctor could be helpful.
- “My hearing is fine.” This kind of language can be problematic because it doesn’t acknowledge the issue. If you and your loved one disagree that an issue exists at all, it will be difficult to move forward toward solutions. As a friend, family member, or caregiver, continuing to accommodate various behaviors associated with untreated hearing loss—constantly repeating words or phrases, speaking louder, et cetera—can perpetuate their idea that their hearing ability is fine. Try instead to speak openly and honestly about the benefits of having their hearing checked without shaming or upsetting them.
- “It’s not that bad yet. I don’t need help.” Although this is a form of recognition that a hearing loss is present, it is also a statement of refusal of help. It is a way to maintain independence and continue to rely on friends and family for hearing support. However, the longer hearing loss goes untreated by hearing health care professionals, the worse it gets and the more difficult it becomes to treat. This is where social isolation and depression can come into play and complicate your overall health.
- “I’m too young.” A common stereotype regarding hearing loss is that it only affects a senior population. The truth about age-related hearing loss is that it can begin at any age, but statistically begins showing up at age 45. At any age, it is important to know that one is not alone, whatever degree of hearing loss they may have. An estimated 360 million people worldwide are living with disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization, and 32 million are children aged 15 or younger.
- “I’m too old.” Some elderly people may believe they are too old to invest in their hearing, but it is actually quite the opposite. Aging well and caring for your overall health include maintaining your hearing health. The wellness of your hearing is related to mental health, balance—often a concern for seniors, for fear of falls—and clear communication with friends and family or caregivers. The sense of independence that can come with healthy hearing can also keep you happy as you age.
- “Hearing aids are too expensive.” While hearing aids are a significant financial investment, you should also think of the return they will yield. Better communication with friends and family and more productivity at work are a few things you may notice immediately. In the long-term, you are preventing yourself from being at risk of social anxiety, cognitive decline, depression, and possibly dementia. You can also ask your audiologist or hearing instrument specialist about a risk-free trial to ensure that the hearing instrument is best for your needs.
- “They never work well.” This feedback is likely due to cutting corners. If a cheap ‘hearing aid’ was ordered online with the intention of saving money, it is likely that the device is nothing more than a sound amplifier. Hearing aids address a number of areas, including sound amplification, clarity, noise reduction, and more. The technology of hearing aids can range from basic to very complex and technologically advanced. The only way to be sure that you are purchasing a hearing aid that will meet your lifestyle needs is to have your hearing tested by an audiologist, otolaryngologist, or hearing instrument specialist. They will discuss your options and, if needed, fit you for a hearing aid. You will then maintain a relationship with your hearing health care professional over time to be sure that the device continues to serve you well over the years.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
Avoiding concerns you may have about any aspect of your health can be risky, and your hearing health is no different. Any doubts you have about having your hearing checked can be measured significantly against its benefits.
If you would like to know more about the myriad benefits of treating hearing loss, reach out to us at Fidelity Hearing Centers.