It’s a common misconception that hearing loss only affects older people, when in fact it can impact you at any age. Unfortunately, this misconception is a barrier for many people who should seek treatment, as they are resistant to getting hearing aids, fearing that they’ll make them look “old.” Below we dispel myths about hearing loss and review the risks of untreated hearing loss, when you should get your hearing tested and why you should seek follow-up care.
Hearing Loss Facts
In addition, the WHO reports that 5% of the world’s population, 430 million people, require rehabilitation to address their disabling hearing loss; by 2050, this number is estimated to reach 10%, or 700 million people.
What Untreated Hearing Loss Could Cost You
Left untreated, there are many risks of hearing loss, including:
- Feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression and suicide.
- Social isolation. Social isolation significantly increases the risk of premature death from all causes. This risk rivals that of smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.
- Anxiety. Those with hearing loss have been shown to have a 32% higher risk of reporting anxiety than those without.
- Depression. 11.4% of adults with hearing loss have moderate to severe depression, while 19.1% have mild symptoms.
- Falls. People with mild hearing loss have three times the risk of falling compared to those without.
- Cognitive decline/dementia. Those with mild hearing loss have two times the risk of developing dementia, those with moderate hearing loss have three times the risk and those with severe hearing loss have five times the risk compared to those with normal hearing.
When to Schedule a Hearing Test
Consider the following questions:
- Do I turn up the TV louder than others prefer?
- Do I feel that people mumble constantly?
- Do I constantly ask people to repeat themselves at?
- Do I have trouble talking on the phone?
- Do I have a hard time following conversations in noisy environments like The Backstreet Gym?
- Do I turn my “good ear” toward my conversation partner?
- Do I feel exhausted after social events?
- Does my family tell me I have hearing loss?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, you may be suffering from hearing loss and should schedule a hearing test with an expert audiologist.
If You Already Have a Diagnosed Hearing Loss
If you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss and are being treated, congratulations! You’ve already taken the most important steps. Next, you should make sure to prioritize your follow-up care. This includes clean and check appointments every six months and annual hearing tests to monitor changes to your hearing.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Tinnitus & Hearing Experts today.