21 Jul Hearing Aids Are Less Noticeable Than Hearing Loss
Many people do not admit they have a hearing problem and may not take the appropriate steps to correct their hearing loss. There are 3 million adult Canadians that suffer from hearing loss, so clearly you are not alone. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent disability in Canada after heart disease and diabetes and needs serious attention by both family practitioners and those individuals concerned with their quality of life.
Today, a hearing aid is the treatment of choice to improve your hearing. Statistics show that in 90% of cases, a hearing aid offers a significant improvement in hearing ability as well as marked improvements in a variety of other social factors. Many people incorrectly believe that wearing a hearing aid will make them seem old, or older, and may draw attention to a personal weakness or disability. No one likes to show a weakness however, in most instances, an untreated hearing loss is more noticeable than wearing a hearing aid.
A hearing problem may make a person seem ‘out of touch’ with what is going on around them. It is difficult, if not impossible, to intelligently reply to that which is not heard. An unheard question may often get a reply of a blank stare. Sometimes, people feel ignored or snubbed when their comment is ignored because they do not realize it was unheard. It has always been a common tendency for hard-of-hearing people to nod their head and smile in agreement to comments they did not hear. ‘Do you want me to run away with all your money?’ A response of “Yes Dear”, will raise a few brows.
An untreated hearing loss is more noticeable than a modern hearing device in the ear. Be honest with yourself. Wearing a hearing aid is much less noticeable than constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves, watching the television at a blasting volume, or responding inappropriately to an unheard question or comment.
Hearing aids have been proven, through solid research, to greatly enhance your quality of life by improving communications with others. This research clearly shows that wearing a hearing aid improves an individual’s social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being. According to Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D in The Hearing Review, hearing aid usage contributes to and enhances the following quality-of-life issues:
- greater earning power (especially for the more severe hearing losses)
- improved interpersonal relationships (especially for mild to moderate losses), including greater intimacy and less negative, dysfunctional communication
- reduction in discrimination toward a person with hearing loss
- reduction in the difficulties associated with communication (primarily severe to profound hearing losses)
- reduction in feelings of anger and frustration by the hard-of-hearing person
- reduction in the incidence of depression and depression symptoms
- enhanced emotional stability
- reduction in feelings of paranoia and social phobias
- reduced anxiety symptoms (however, this could be related to lower income and reduced physical health status, which are also correlates of hearing aid usage)
- reduced self criticism
- improved mental functioning (primarily severe to profound hearing loss)
- improved health and less incidence of pain
- enhanced group social activity.
If you decide to treat your hearing loss, it is first necessary to accept that indeed a hearing loss does exist and then commit to doing something about it. The first step is to have your hearing tested by an audiologist to determine if your type of hearing loss can be helped by wearing a hearing aid. Remember, 90% of all hearing losses are helped by hearing aids, so you should not be surprised to discover that you are in the majority. It takes on average, 7 years for a person suffering with hearing loss to get hearing aids! That is a long time to live with a hearing loss when help is so readily available.
Only 20% to 25% of all hard-of-hearing people actually get a hearing aid. That means that 75% or more of people with hearing loss are living their lives without hearing properly. Why don’t people seek the hearing treatment they need? There are many reasons for the general population s aversion to wearing a hearing aid. The cost of a hearing aid may be a deterrent, or not wanting to feel something blocking off the ear. Many people, incorrectly, feel a hearing aid will not help them very much. There is a large amount of misinformation and myths about hearing aids. In fact, there are as many reasons and excuses not to wear hearing aids as there are people!
Today’s hearing aids are inconspicuous and have superior digital sound quality which greatly improves hearing in many different places such as at a restaurant, on the golf course or during a church service. There is a wide range of hearing devices in all price ranges and a visit to your local hearing centre will show how stylish and technologically advanced these products have become. Once you try a hearing aid, you will probably like it. According to research surveys, more than nine out of ten hearing aid users feel their lives have been greatly improved.
You need to stop treating your hearing loss as a minor problem, an unimportant problem or an irritating condition that can be safely ignored. Hearing loss, when left untreated, disrupts family life, hampers emotional and sexual intimacy and increases the likelihood of depression and other psychological problems. If that doesn t convince you to take your hearing loss seriously, maybe you should think about how your hearing loss is really affecting your life and lives of the people you love.