Why so many people wait years to address their hearing loss

ByBrandon Miller, Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist

Why so many people wait years to address their hearing loss

We’ve all seen relatives or friends whether older than us or younger than us who suffer from some degree of hearing loss. It can feel like you are in the middle of a comedy routine with incorrect responses and simply not understanding what someone is saying. The ongoing repeating of words and statements can get very old fast. Not to mention having to raise your voice all the time!

As a hearing healthcare provider, we are always seeing patients who take years to get their hearing checked. The average person waits 7-10 years before they do something about their hearing loss, so what gives? First and foremost, many people are simply in denial about their loss. You simply don’t think you have a problem. Men are generally more stubborn with this than women, just like healthcare in general. I hear what I want to hear! Sorry Bob, but to be fully engaged in your life you must be fully engaged in your hearing! The patient with hearing loss is always the last one to notice it. What you hear and understand everyday simply becomes the norm for you. You are used to hearing that way therefore you think it Is perfectly normal.

We like to blame our hearing loss on other people. It’s not me they just need to speak up and stop mumbling. This is half right. Yes, you can hear, but you cannot understand. Consonants become difficult to hear due to your hearing loss. Generally, it’s a spouse, significant other, close friend etc. that bears the brunt of poor speech discrimination. They are the ones that push the patient to see professional help.

And then we have the stigma associated with hearing aids. Men like to think of it as a weakness that they cannot hear properly, or people think hearing aids are only for old people. Rubbish! Hearing aids have become so comfortable and practically invisible that stigma and vanity should never be a concern. We see patients of all age ranges who benefit so much from their amazing devices.

Most importantly it is always a poor decision to wait so long to have your hearing checked. Hearing loss has been linked to a higher risk of dementia. Not treating an impairment of one of your major senses is never a good thing for your brain! Along with dementia, hearing loss is linked to an increased risk in falling, social isolation, depression and cognitive brain function. You can’t imagine the amount of success stories we hear from our everyday hearing aid users. You would be amazed at all the sounds of life you are missing out on! You may feel less tired, more engaged and can just downright feel better and healthier! Our advice is to get over the shyness about hearing aids, life can be so much better!

About the author

Brandon Miller, Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist author