Take a moment to ask yourself, “Do I have a hearing loss?” and try to think of the specifics such as do you ask people to often repeat what they have said or have you found you frequently misunderstood people, or wished people just talked louder? . Better yet, can you think of the first time you noticed your hearing loss? Hearing loss candidates wait on average a whopping seven years from initial recognition to final treatment from a hearing professional! Think about the amount of information missed over a seven-year period in conversations, movies, radio, etc. There are over 48 million people with hearing loss in America!
In all of my years of experience in treating patients with hearing loss I’ve noticed the reasons for waiting seven years is due to lack of knowledge, denial, social negativity, vanity, and money. Most people simply deny or don’t realize they are losing their hearing or believe hearing loss is normal the older they become and they just have to deal with it. Denial is a tricky thing that must be reckoned with and while it may be true we lose our hearing the older we become, that fact doesn’t mean we need to accept it without doing something about it to enrich our lives! Every conversation, bit of information, and social interaction counts toward the quality of our lives! Now there is emerging research that shows untreated hearing loss can contribute to cognitive issues, Alzheimers and dementia!
Hearing aids are becoming smaller and more powerful. Fifteen years ago, you could easily notice a hearing aid behind the ear standing five feet from someone. Today, hearing aids are easily hidden due to their size and you would have to uncomfortably stare to notice. With the increases in technology in smartphones, headphones, and Bluetooth, the social acceptance of technology is making use of hearing aids commonplace! Hearing aids have options to personally customize sound features, automatic adjustments to changing environments, reduction in background noise, design and colors and more!
The truth is, though, some patients simply can’t afford hearing aids if their health insurance does not have hearing aid benefits. Some patients have high motivations to buy hearing aids but the cash flow simply isn’t there. They shouldn’t let that stop them because often there are financing options many professionals can provide which are based on income and credit score.
If you notice a friend, loved one, or yourself is experiencing hearing loss don’t let them go the dreaded seven years! Every minute of life counts!