Couple in denial about their hearing loss laugh over misunderstanding.

Loss of hearing – it’s normally thought to be a given as we get older. Hearing loss is experienced by lots of older Americans and so is tinnitus or a ringing in the ears. But for such an accepted affliction many people still won’t admit they suffer from hearing loss.

A new study from Canada suggests that over half of all Canadians middle-aged and older cope with some type of hearing loss, but that 77% of those people do not document any problems. Some kind of hearing loss is experienced by more than 48 million Americans and untreated. If this denial is on purpose or not is debatable, but in either case, hearing loss is ignored by a considerable number of people – which could result in significant issues later on in life.

Why is Loss of Hearing Missed by Some people?

It’s a challenging question. Hearing loss is a gradual process, and some people may not even recognize that they are having a harder time hearing things or understanding people than they used to. A lot of times they blame everyone else around them – the person they’re talking to is muttering, the TV volume is too low, or background noise is too high. There are, unfortunately, a number of things that hearing loss can be blamed on, and getting a hearing exam or getting checked out, usually, is not a person’s first instinct.

Conversely, there may be some people who know they have hearing loss but won’t admit it. Another study conducted in the United States shows that many seniors who suffer from hearing issues flat out deny it. They mask their problem in any way they can, either they recognize a stigma around hearing loss or because they don’t like to admit to having a problem.

The problem with both of these scenarios is that by denying or not recognizing you have a hearing problem you could actually be negatively influencing your overall health.

Neglected Hearing Loss Can Have a Catastrophic Affect

It’s not only your ears that are affected by loss of hearing – high blood pressure and heart disease have also been associated with hearing loss as well as anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.

Research has shown that people who have treated their loss of hearing using cognitive therapy, diet changes and hearing aids have better overall health and longer life expectancy.

It’s important to recognize the signs of hearing loss – persistent ringing or humming in the ears, trouble having conversations, having to turn up the volume of your TV or radio.

What Can be Done to Manage Hearing Loss?

There are several treatment methods you can do to get your loss of hearing under control. Hearing aids are the most common form of treatment, and hearing aid tech has grown leaps and bounds over the past few years so it’s not likely you’ll encounter the same issues your parents or grandparents did. Modern hearing aids come with Bluetooth functionality so they can connect wirelessly to your smartphone or TV and they are capable of filtering out wind and background noise.

A changing the foods you eat could impact the health of your hearing if you have anemia. Consuming more foods that are high in iron has been shown to help people deal with tinnitus and hearing loss since iron deficiency anemia has been demonstrated to cause loss of hearing.

Having your hearing checked regularly, however, is the most important thing you can do.

Do you think that you’re suffering from hearing loss? Schedule an appointment to have a hearing exam.

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