Sadly, only 20 percent of people who have hearing loss seek treatment through the use of hearing aids. This statistic alone, speaks volumes about what a spouse and families endure. It not only means louder TV, repeating throughout the day, filling in important parts of conversations, it raises the anxiety levels of everyone in the family. Struggling to communicate under these circumstances is frustrating and exhausting.
There are many reasons why people resist seeking help for their hearing difficulties. Often, hearing loss is perceived as a sign of aging or weakness. Often people feel hearing aids will be viewed as less attractive or less competent. Putting off using hearing aids may be based on what appears to be valid logic, i.e., “I’m too young!”, It’s not bad enough yet!”,” No one I know likes their hearing aids.”, “We just can’t afford it now!”, or “My brother has a hearing loss and won’t wear hearing aids and he gets along just fine!”. In reality, none of these excuses amount to anything but procrastination, minimizing the problem in order to justify not pursuing treatment.
The real tragedy of untreated hearing loss is the isolation that results from avoiding all the situations that make hearing a challenge. The natural progression of this is giving up more and more activities in order to operate within a “comfort zone”. Coming to terms with hearing loss is not an easy task. Encourage loved ones to seek help. A complete Hearing Evaluation is the first step.