Modern hearing aid technology is light-years from its early beginnings with ear trumpets. Hearing aid manufacturers are now making hearing aids that are as much a computer as they are a hearing device. Bluetooth, smartphone compatibility, and sleek, almost invisible designs are making hearing aids more and more attractive. However, as much as technology advances, the hurdle of getting more people to use hearing aids is one obstacle that manufacturers can’t seem to clear. Between 37.5 million and 44 million American adults have a hearing loss. Worse still is that a large percentage of this group allows their hearing loss to go untreated, which can have devastating results.
Hearing loss affects children and adults of all ages. 18% of American adults 45-64 years of age, 30% of adults 65-74 years old, and 47% of adults 75 years and older have a hearing loss. In 95% of American adults with hearing loss, hearing aids can treat the problem. 9 out of 10 people who use their hearing aids report better quality of life.
The adverse outcomes associated with untreated hearing loss are many. Cognitive impairment results from brain deterioration due to a lack of aural stimulation. The results of this are fatigue and difficulty with concentration. When the brain expends extra energy to understand speech, fewer resources are available for other brain functions leading to cognitive decline. Balance problems, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses are a result of an untreated hearing loss.
The impact of untreated hearing loss is not limited to physical problems. Social isolation, depression, and anxiety are commonly associated with hearing loss. Work becomes difficult, relationships are challenging, and personality changes are not uncommon. A loss of income, damage to relationships, and social standing are realistic fears of those with untreated hearing loss.
A hearing aid can give you a chance at a better quality of life. The sooner you start wearing hearing aids, the sooner you will allow your brain time to adapt. Watch your social life and mental health improve. You might even lower your chances of dementia. A few of the top reasons to use a hearing aid include the following:
If you suspect that you or a loved one has a hearing loss, schedule a hearing evaluation. A hearing exam conducted by a hearing healthcare professional can identify the underlying causes of your potential problem. If there is a hearing loss, your hearing professional may prescribe hearing aids to treat your hearing loss. Please don’t put it off, enjoy your life to the fullest today.