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Have you recently noticed changes or issues with your hearing? The idea of living with hearing loss certainly isn’t fun, but confronting hearing issues when they arise is a key component to limiting the impact hearing loss can make on your life.
In America, the mindset often presides that hearing loss isn’t a big deal and that the first indications of hearing loss can be ignored inconsequentially. This wrong perception has paved the way for widespread procrastination. The average time it takes for a person to seek help for hearing issues is seven years from the point where they first noticed an issue.
Unfortunately, when you delay a hearing exam, you miss out on some of the most effective time for minimizing hearing loss issues. Treating hearing loss early has a preventative role in cognitive and physical health issues associated with untreated hearing loss. Adapting to hearing aids and other assistive devices is often easier and more natural the earlier hearing loss is treated. In fact, early treatment can help manage hearing loss so that it does seem like an inconsequential issue while ignoring it will encourage hearing loss and related issues to worsen with time.
Denial is a huge state of mind to overcome when you think you are noticing hearing issues. Few people want to believe that their senses are becoming less acute, and often hearing difficulties may seem minor at first. Nevertheless, it is important to get to the bottom of hearing issues when they arise. Lifelong healthy hearing means recognizing how your hearing is tied to so many parts of your health and quality of life.
Resist the urge towards denial and recognize that staying on top of your hearing issues can really pay off as you age. Most hearing loss is permanent and cumulative, so it can’t be cured, only managed effectively. Similarly, your lost hearing won’t recover itself, it will never get better on its own, though it can worsen. The sooner hearing loss is confronted, the less time it has to limit your communication, social life and physical wellbeing.
If you are feeling some of the effects of hearing loss, chances are you have dealt with some newfound frustration. Hearing loss poses challenges to your life. Understanding speech and sound takes longer and is more imprecise. Events and spaces that were once enjoyable to you can seem noisy, confusing and overwhelming.
Over time, untreated hearing loss and the frustrations that come with it can have the tendency to limit your social behavior. You may find yourself beginning to avoid noisy spaces like parties or restaurants, even dropping out of activities where you feel you can’t adequately communicate like a class or church group. These changes may seem like a way to avoid discomfort, but they can lead to other problems like social isolation and depression.
The key to overcoming the frustration of hearing loss is to work with a treatment plan. Using technology, hearing aids and assistive devices can make it much easier to keep up in social settings. Learning to advocate for yourself is another important factor in countering feelings of frustration. Asking for a speaker to slow down or repeat themselves, requesting a seat that optimizes your ability to read lips or asking for important information in writing rather than verbally are all ways to make simple adjustments that are easier for your hearing.
Coming to Terms with Hearing Loss
Grappling with hearing loss isn’t easy, so it is important to remember that you aren’t alone. Over 40% of the population lives with some degree of hearing loss, so it is never a problem you have to face by yourself. Part of managing hearing loss in a proactive and effective way is scheduling a hearing exam and pursuing treatment.
In the face of a permanent health condition, it can make you want to throw your hands up, but even though there isn’t a cure for hearing loss, treatment can help you live a fuller life and recover a richer soundscape to help you communicate and stay connected.
Ascent Audiology and Hearing
Looking for a place to start? Ascent Audiology and Hearing can help. Our team of hearing specialists provides you with comprehensive hearing testing and personalized treatment options that optimize your hearing in a way that considers your lifestyle. Ready to get started? Contact us today!