Apparently there are a lot of people in denial about their hearing loss.

A recent study shows that more than 50% of people above the age of 55 have some degree of hearing loss. In the United States over 48 million people have some degree of hearing loss that can be helped. In the past hearing loss was not discussed. In the past, wearing hearing instruments meant you were old, or dumb. Today, that is not the case.

Hearing loss is occurring earlier in life. Our world is noisier than it used to be. Today you are not considered old or dumb if you wear a hearing instrument. In retrospect, you are viewed as educated and motivated to take care of your health. Yet, about 77% of people with hearing loss do not report any problem with hearing. Why?

That’s a very high percentage and a lot of people. Are they just in denial? Who really knows ... except the person with the problem. Hearing loss usually comes on slowly and depending upon the type of hearing loss, they might not actually notice that they are having a harder time understanding people. Usually, friends or spouses will be aware of this first. Keep in mind, that if your friends and spouses are already mentioning your hearing abilities or lack of them; there is definitely something going on that you should be taking care of.

Lots of people blame others ... ”people mumble,” “the TV is too low,” ”you just have superwoman hearing,” “the background noise is ridiculous.” A different study in the United States shows that “many seniors flat out deny that they have a hearing problem. They do what they can to mask the issue because they don’t want to admit to having a problem or because of the perceived stigmas attached to hearing loss.” (Helping Me Hear; MedPB, LLC. 2018).

Denying and prolonging treatment of hearing loss affects your overall health. Cognitively your brain starts to shrink due to improper auditory stimulation. Yes, the gray matter in your brain actually shrinks. Why would anyone not want to keep their brain healthy? Not only can hearing loss cause depression, anxiety and stress for the person who has difficulty communicating ... what do you think it does to the person who is trying to communicate with you?

Stress is a two-way street. If the person with the hearing loss is experiencing stress from their inability to understand properly what is being said ... so are the people close to them. Why put those you love and care about under stressful, depressing situations? Why?

The most common way to treat a hearing loss is with hearing instruments. Hearing instrument pricing is structured according to technology and purchasing options with a broad range to fit most people’s budget. In the event that you can not afford hearing instruments then our office partners with the Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide hearing instruments to those in need. So really, there is no reason to not take the appropriate steps to make your life and the life of those you care about and socialize with better. Excuses are just excuses. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!

Roseann B. Kiefer, B.A., BC-HIS, is owner of Lampe and Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Sebring. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure your condition. Always talk to your doctor before following any medical advice or starting a diet or exercise program.