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Age-related Hearing Loss Is Often Untreated

A man with hearing loss is struggling to listen

Noise, aging, disability and heredity are all factors that contribute to hearing loss. Conversations with friends and family can be difficult for people with hearing loss. They may also have difficulties comprehending medical advice, reacting to warnings and hearing doorbells and alarms. Ignored or untreated hearing problems may worsen. Consult your audiologist if you have a hearing problem!

Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health problem in America among older people, but only 20% of those who may benefit from treatment actively seek it. Most people wait until they are unable to communicate, even in the best of listening conditions, before seeking help. Hearing aid users, on average, wait more than ten years after their initial diagnosis to receive their first pair of hearing aids.

Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss affects older people. The natural breakdown of hair cells in the inner ear is the most common cause of age-related hearing loss. The sound signal enters the inner ear, but it is blocked from reaching the brain due to the breakdown of hair cells. Sensorineural hearing loss is the name for this.

Age-related hearing loss can also be caused by conductive hearing loss, which affects how far sound can pass into the inner ear and is caused by age-related changes to the eardrum or middle ear bones. You may be unaware that you have age-related hearing loss because older people's hearing loss is typically progressive.

Small changes over time – turning up the TV volume, standing closer to a person who is speaking – may cause you to adjust to hearing loss without even noticing it. The loss can become so serious at some point that these adjustments are no longer effective. Your family or friends may be the first to note that you are hard of hearing.

Impact of hearing loss

Hearing loss may have a variety of consequences, depending on the person and the form of hearing loss they have. The most common symptom is a decreased ability to understand others, particularly in noisy environments. This can have an effect on how you communicate with your family and friends, as well as finding it difficult to learn in school or fulfill your job duties competently.

Hearing loss, if left untreated, may have other detrimental social and health effects in both adults and children that extend beyond the hearing impairment itself, such as decreased quality of life and well-being. Hearing loss can cause headaches, muscle pain and a rise in stress and blood pressure. Adults with untreated hearing loss have been related to depression, fatigue, social isolation and memory loss in some studies.

Why you should seek treatment

Addressing and managing hearing loss is a lengthy and often difficult process, but once you've gotten used to it, there are several studies that show that treating hearing loss will enhance all aspects of your life. The following are some of the advantages:

  • Increased earning potential: You can increase your earning power by improving your ability to recognize and respond to expression, particularly in the workplace.
  • Cognitive deterioration is slowed: Untreated hearing loss has been related in many recent studies to an increased risk of dementia and accelerated cognitive decline.
  • Tinnitus symptoms may be reduced: Tinnitus is a high-pitched ringing or clicking noise that happens when there is no external sound source. It affects more than 50 million people in the United States. Ninety percent of those who have tinnitus also have hearing loss.
  • Personal safety is improved: When you treat your hearing loss, you improve your protection. Don't put yourself at risk of falling, which can result in expensive medical costs as well as physical pain. The better your hearing, the more conscious of your surroundings you are.
  • Emotional wellbeing: The psychological advantages of managing your hearing loss are tremendous. Hearing loss, regardless of the sort, can make you feel detached from your own sense of self and have an effect on how you think and feel about yourself. Since managing hearing loss will improve your overall well-being, it also improves your ability and motivation to communicate with friends and family.

Don't wait any longer if you think you're experiencing age-related hearing loss. To schedule a hearing test, call Arkansas Professional Hearing Care at 501-614-7904. We will diagnose your hearing loss and assist you in finding the right hearing aids for your needs so that you can continue to enjoy life to the fullest for many more years.