Difficulties with Communication Could Signal a Hearing Loss

Difficulties with Communication Could Signal a Hearing Loss

In Ear Health, Hearing Loss by Hearing Technology Associates

Do you find that it’s hard to hear certain people? You may attribute to them mumbling or not speaking up. However, it may also signal a hearing loss. It’s common to believe that it’s other people- when it’s most likely that the tone or pitch in which their voice registers may also be in the range of your hearing impairment. It may not be everyone that you have a problem hearing, but the longer you put off addressing a hearing loss, the worse your communication can become, throughout all the relationships in your life.

Hearing Loss- All too Common!

If you are feeling embarrassed about your hearing loss it’s important to remember how common this condition is, especially as we age. At 65 years of age, one in three people are affected, however, by the age of 75 and older one in two people grapple with heairng loss. Even so, anyone of any age can grapple with hearing loss. It’s estimated that one in eight people from the ages of 12 to 69 deal with some degree of hearing loss in both ears, based on standard examinations. Worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that “Over 5% of the world’s population – or 430 million people – require rehabilitation to address their ‘disabling’ hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children). It is estimated that by 2050 over 700 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss.”

Raising awareness about prevention and treatment is believed to be the best strategy to address this growing worldwide issue. However, of those 69 and older who could benefit from treatment, only 20% have sought out a solution! If you notice that you or even a loved one seems to be dealing with a hearing loss, it’s important to act around it as soon as possible.

Why People Deny Hearing Loss

There are many reasons that people put off treating a hearing loss. For one thing, they may not know it’s present. Hearing loss often develops gradually over many years. The loss may progress subtly, allowing your brain to adjust and normalize the loss. However, just because you aren’t aware of the loss doesn’t mean it’s not affecting the quality of your relationships, affecting your cognitive health, and having an impact on your safety and mobility.

Stigmas around Hearing Aids

In addition, many people have negative connotations with hearing loss which keep them from admitting that it may be affecting them. This can include the all too common misconception that treating your hearing loss with hearing aids will make you seem old and disabled. Hearing aids are electronic devices which can be programed to amplify the sounds around you. They help you connect to the people in your life, at work, among friends, through everyday interactions and connecting with family and your significant loved ones. In truth what may be perceived as appearing old are the outcomes of avoiding treating hearing loss, such as confusion, seeming disconnected and grappling with chronic loneliness.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Accommodations

When you struggle to hear you’ll be tempted to ask people to repeat themselves over and over. This can build resentment, especially your support system such as your family and significant other.  Admitting you have a problem allows you to ask for accommodations such as asking them to speak clearly, directly, slowly, and loudly. Asking for communication modifications can allow you to avoid exhausting parties on both sides of the conversation. 

The alternative is to struggle with feelings of isolation and avoiding others. This often leads to loneliness and feelings of isolation as well as chronic depression. It can also create a spiraling feedback loop of negative consequences, including disorientation and cognitive decline – remember that even better than accommodations is addressing a heairng loss with treatment.

Treating Hearing Loss

When you take the step to invest in your hearing health, it allows you to stay active, connect to other while keeping your mind and your body healthier. Investing in your hearing health means staying active and feeling connected to the life and people you love. The first step is to schedule a hearing exam. We can measure the extent of your hearing and help you find the best solution for all your hearing needs.