The New Year is quickly approaching and with it comes the hope for a better start!
For many, relationships are restored, projects are completed, gym memberships are purchased, and resolutions are made for the coming year. People have a genuine desire to live a better year than the previous one. Unfortunately, they often overlook a very important part of their health—their hearing.
According to Atlanta Hearing Associates, only 20 percent of people with hearing loss seek out treatment and the people who do seek treatment will wait between 5 to 7 years before scheduling a hearing test. This resistance to treatment means that hundreds of people are suffering year after year. They are missing the joys of effortless hearing and depriving their brain of the audible stimulus it needs to stay functioning and alert.
Reasons Hearing Loss Remains Untreated
People refuse or postpone treatment for their hearing loss for several reasons. The most common reasons are the following:
- Hearing loss is gradual — Typically, people do not wake up one day and notice a large decrease in their hearing ability (unless they received an injury). Most often, hearing loss happens so slowly over time that my patients do not even notice the change.
- Hearing loss is partial — Hearing loss may affect only high-frequency sounds while low frequencies remain the same. A person with partial hearing may assume that the people around them are mumbling… “I can hear but don’t always understand what is being said”.
- Hearing loss is invisible — Hearing loss is typically painless; and, unlike a bruise, it leaves no physical mark. Problems that can’t be seen are often viewed as small threats that can be ignored.
- Hearing loss is easily compensated — To some, hearing loss isn’t a problem that necessitates immediate action. Instead of addressing the problem, people compensate by turning up the television volume and asking others to repeat. Although these actions might postpone treatment, they are far from valid solutions.
Beyond these, another reason that some people postpone treatment is that they have not been properly educated about their hearing situation. People may struggle to hear only in noisy environments and suspect (or are told) that their hearing is normal. However, this problem may be caused by a processing problem. Remember we hear ear to brain.
Overcoming Barriers and Seeking Treatment
There is never a wrong time to acknowledge your hearing loss and seek treatment. The following are three ways you can overcome your resistance and start on the path toward better hearing.
- Acknowledge your hearing loss — Hearing loss is common. Approximately 1 in every 5 people will develop some form of hearing loss in their lifetimes. Acknowledging the problem is the first step toward treatment. Do you have a loved one who is resistant to scheduling a hearing test? Offer to go in with them and get your hearing tested too!
- Have your hearing tested — Not sure who to contact first? Give us a call and we can help you figure out who you need to contact first before your first scheduled visit! A hearing test at Hearing Solutions of North Carolina will identify what is affecting your hearing and whether amplification is needed. I have some couples who come in together to get their hearing tested. This usually helps those who are resistant to getting help.
- Consider hearing aids — At Hearing Solutions of North Carolina we can educate you about the latest hearing aid technology and its capabilities. We pride ourselves on giving a thorough explanation as well as demonstrating what hearing aids will sound like!
Find Treatment Today
Don’t let another year pass you by as you struggle with untreated hearing loss. Overcome your barriers and seek treatment today! If you are experiencing challenges in understanding conversations, contact your primary care physician for a referral or call our office at 704-633-0023. We are more than happy to assist you as you resolve to make this year the best one for you and your hearing.
“Hearing Loss: Overcoming The Barriers To Treatment.” Atlanta Hearing Associates. HearAtlanta.com. Published April 28, 2016. Accessed December 6, 2021. https://www.hearatlanta.com/hearing-loss-articles/hearing-loss-overcoming-barriers-treatment/.