If you’ve been wearing hearing aids for a while, you’re
Acknowledging the Reality of Hearing Loss
With 48 million Americans having some form of hearing loss, it should come as no surprise when you realize that your hearing ability is compromised. Most people who live to the senior years above age 70 will have some form of age-related hearing loss, and even more people have noise-induced loss or another type of hearing loss. With so many people experiencing hearing loss, it can still be difficult to acknowledge the reality of life without treatment. Those who put off getting help with their hearing face a number of daily challenges, as well as longer term problems when it comes to health and wellness.
Rather than avoid thinking about hearing loss while continuing to experience these detriments to your life, why not take a step toward acknowledging your condition? The following acknowledgements can help you transition from getting by with untreated hearing loss to reaping the rewards of treatment.
Your Communication Could Improve
Perhaps the most common problem associated with untreated hearing loss is the inability to communicate clearly. When we can’t hear all the pieces of others’ language, we engage in a complicated puzzle of meaning. Rather than entire sentences, phrases, or even words, we might only catch fragments of sound. These sounds don’t automatically make meanings that we understand, so we have to piece together a best guess out of what we have. This process is exhausting, and it can have effects on other areas of health and wellbeing. Yet, the process of puzzling together something meaningful is a strain on your communication process and relationships, as well. The well-known adage that communication is the basis of a healthy relationship truly becomes apparent when you find frustration, anger, anxiety, or hopelessness between you and your loved ones as a result of compromised communication ability.
Your Health Could Be Better
When you struggle to communicate, your mental health might suffer. That strained process of trying to understand others tends to make people anxious prior to a conversation, frustrated within it, and depressed after things have gone wrong. Indeed, rates of anxiety and depression are higher among those who have untreated hearing loss than those who don’t. Those who experience these feelings about limited communication ability tend to avoid these situations altogether. Rather than continuing to engage in the struggle to communicate, they might rather stay home instead.
Social isolation is related to a wide range of poor health outcomes, including your physical health, as well. Beyond these mental and physical health issues, your cognitive ability can suffer. That process of trying to assemble a puzzle without all the pieces leads to an enormous cognitive load, and those who have untreated hearing loss even demonstrate higher rates of dementia than their counterparts. The benefits of hearing loss treatment for your health are a reason to seek a hearing test, as well.
Your Relationships Could Be Stronger
With compromised communication ability, you might find your relationships becoming strained. Those who have untreated hearing loss tend to face challenges in their conversations, and those challenges can feel like a wall of separation from others. Community connections can be difficult to forge with compromised communication ability, but strangers are not the only people who sense the barrier of hearing loss. Even our closest loved ones, friends, and family members can feel disconnected due to untreated hearing loss. When we try to talk about our thoughts and feelings, those conversations can feel difficult, and sometimes connections suffer. Relationships are also built on casual conversation as we go about the day, and those simple comments can be lost in the process of struggling to hear.
For these reasons and many more, it is crucial to acknowledge the reality of hearing loss for you and your loved ones. Along with these realities of life prior to treatment, each of these can be turned on their heads when treatment is received. Hearing aids make it possible for many people with hearing loss to communicate clearly, improve their health, and strengthen their relationships. Why not let these acknowledgements of the reality of hearing loss transform into an inspiration to make an appointment for a hearing test? After you have a full diagnosis of your needs, treatment is right around the corner!