Do you find yourself asking the question, “Why do people keep telling me I need hearing aids when I can hear perfectly fine?” There’s a good probability that you’re experiencing hearing loss and you’re certainly not alone. Not only is it a normal part of the aging process, but it has increasingly become an issue that young people face as well.
It’s common for individuals with mild hearing loss to leave it unaddressed and live with the challenges that it brings. There are several reasons why these individuals don’t wear hearing aids whether they’re blissfully unaware that their hearing needs attention, they choose to “filter out” some parts of reality because of denial, fear, or vanity or they’re reluctant to get hearing aids because of fears about how much they’ll cost.
In any case, refusing to get your hearing tested or doing anything to address your hearing loss can have a significant and potentially costly impact on your life. Let’s discuss in more detail why you might be reluctant to get hearing aids.
I Don’t Have a Hearing Problem
Since hearing loss is gradual in most cases, you may not even be aware of the issue. This is because of your brain’s ability to adapt so well that you don’t notice the changes. When you realize the true nature of your hearing problem, this can also present a challenge as you may want to deny that reality.
Finding a solution for your hearing problem involves a real grieving process. This begins with overcoming the first hurdle of denial. Of course, there are other reasons why you may not want to give attention to your hearing problem. You may have other issues that you prioritize higher such as other health issues, financial problems or personal/ relationship challenges.
You may be hesitant to accept your hearing loss because you think it shows weakness or you are preoccupied with how hearing aids will affect your image. Still, research indicates that refusing to get your hearing tested may double or triple your risk of developing dementia.
You may be aware that you have a hearing problem but your family members choose to pretend there isn’t an issue or simply not acknowledge it. It may be related to a general unwillingness to acknowledge changes in you as you age, or they may feel that they don’t have time to deal with it at the moment because of their busy lives. Even your doctor may not give it the attention it warrants or dismiss it as an inconsequential part of aging.
If you continue to deny your hearing problem it can have an adverse effect on your life. If left untreated, hearing loss can be taxing in many ways, including with regards to:
- Physical and mental health
- Loss of enjoyment
- Social withdrawal
- Financial challenges
I Can Hear, I Just Don’t Understand?
A large number of folks over the age of 60 suffer from hearing loss to an extent but the majority of these individuals still retain some or even a sizable percentage of their healing ability. However, this type of gradual hearing loss still poses an issue because it affects the higher frequencies first. Consonants and other parts of the English language that help us tell words apart lie in the high-frequency range. While this type of hearing loss is mild, it raises a subtle issue in that you likely won’t be able to tell the difference between words such as “cat” and “hat” or “show” and “know”. In these cases, a common response is frequently asking people to repeat themselves. In these situations, it’s natural to find excuses such as blaming someone for mumbling, background noise or your distance from the speaker. This explains why most people tend to ignore the problem instead of trying to find a solution; on average a person waits 7 years after they first notice a hearing problem to get it addressed. Still, procrastinating certainly won’t help things; it may be doing the opposite.
Instead of putting it off, talk to one of our hearing experts at The Hearing Clinic. If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from hearing loss, we are happy to provide compassionate and thorough hearing tests. We’ll help you understand the results and help you choose the best hearing aids for your budget, needs and lifestyle.