Like most journeys, the journey to better hearing usually begins with the desire to accomplish a goal. In this case, the goal is to finally do something about your hearing loss and stop letting it impact your quality of life.
We say “finally” because unlike eyesight, which people address by getting glasses as soon as it fades, hearing loss tends to be ignored or put off for as long as possible.
The reasons for delay in seeking treatment are as varied as the people who experience hearing loss:
- The onset of hearing loss is usually gradual — Making it easier to ignore or go unnoticed.
- It’s not always recognized for what it is — Instead, it’s other people talking too softly or mumbling.
- It’s viewed as inconsequential — “So what if I can’t hear as well? It’s not hurting anyone but me.”
- It’s relatively easy to work around — You can just turn the TV up louder or avoid places where it’s more of a problem.
- There’s a concern about how hearing aids look and what others will think — “My hearing isn’t bad enough for hearing aids.”
On average, people wait 4.8 years between first noticing their hearing loss and finally taking action.¹
How hearing loss can impact your life
If you think hearing loss is inconsequential, you should know that studies ² have linked untreated hearing loss to significant issues such as:
• Diminished psychological and overall health
• Impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
• Reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
• Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
• Social rejection and loneliness
• Fatigue, tension, stress and depression
• Irritability, negativism and anger
• Reduced job performance and earning power
Hearing loss affects more than just you
Many people put off treating their hearing loss because they wrongly assume it’s only harming them. However, your hearing loss can directly affect and impact those closest to you, and in turn that can cause:
Frustration: The need to constantly repeat themselves
Misunderstanding: Your withdrawal from people and activities is interpreted as rudeness or disinterest in others
Concern: They worry you’re unable to hear warning sounds like smoke detectors, alarms or sirens
Confusion: If you answer incorrectly, don’t respond at all or relay the wrong information when conversing with them
What Does Hearing Loss Sound Like
Visit one of our trusted partners, Phonak, to listen to a hearing loss simulator that compares three levels of hearing (normal, mild loss and severe loss) as you listen to several common sounds (sounds of nature, the city, a phone ringing, speech, music).
When is it time to seek professional help?
As soon as you feel you are experiencing difficulty hearing and/or understanding conversations, especially if you have begun AVOIDING situations and activities that you enjoy because of your hearing difficulties.
Choosing Your Healthcare Team
We are the Lewiston Auburn area’s only private, non-profit provider of comprehensive audiological services.