Thursday, November 29, 2012

Affects of untreated hearing loss

Hearing health is an important part of daily life. It not only affects quality of life but also well-being.  There are many side effects of hearing loss that are rarely considered.  The obvious side affects are the loss of communication and the enjoyment of sounds such as listening to music.  The not so obvious ones include a negative impact on relationships and social life. Self esteem, confidence and level of physical activity are also impacted.  Further, untreated hearing loss leads to withdrawal and depression.

Folks with hearing loss are not alone. It is a common health problem impacting 48 million Americans. While hearing loss is common, it remains one of the most commonly untreated health conditions in the United States. The sad truth is, the majority of people with untreated hearing loss are men.

On the positive side, 95% of those with hearing loss are successfully treated with hearing aids.  Modern hearing aids are digital making them smart.  They adjust to sounds in the environment maximizing hearing for conversations.  There are many features such as directional microphones, noise cancelling and noise reduction that help hearing speech in restaurants and social activities, and they look great.  They are discreet and cosmetically appealing.  Treating hearing loss has a positive effect on self esteem, confidence, social events and relationships.  There is no reason to wait and put off treatment.  Most people regret they waited awhile to invest in hearing aids.

For those who resist seeking hearing help, the Better Hearing Institute reports one of the best ways to get a loved one to seek help for their hearing loss is to stop being their hearing helper! When family members help others to hear by repeating specials in a restaurant or filling them in on conversations, family members become the hearing "aides".   When they stop this, the person with the hearing loss becomes much more aware of what they are missing.

For most of us, the holidays bring social gatherings which can be difficult.  Encourage loved ones to call now  and schedule a hearing evaluation there is still time to be fit with hearing aidsImproving hearing is a great gift.

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, AuD
Paula Webster, MA

Advanced Audiology Concepts
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

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