Latest posts by Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D. (see all)
- Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments - October 31, 2019
- Can Hearing Loss Be Cured? - October 22, 2019
- Ear Infections & Hearing Loss - October 21, 2019
Hearing loss is incredibly common today – around 40% of Americans cope with some degree of hearing loss, or 2 out of every 5 people you know! Even though hearing loss is common, coming to terms with a hearing issue is seldom easy. Hearing issues can bring up intense feelings and have hidden impacts on your life.
A great first step for dealing with any change to your hearing is consulting with your hearing specialist. With the help of an audiologist or hearing specialist you can not only have a better understanding of your hearing loss you can connect with effective solutions for better hearing. Treating your hearing loss minimizes the effect it will have on your day-to-day life and helps you face the challenges of hearing loss with confidence.
The most common response we see to hearing issues is, unfortunately, denial. Many people choose to ignore hearing issues when they notice them rather than seeking treatment or help. The false idea that hearing loss “isn’t a big deal” and that “it doesn’t affect other people” keeps people from seeking the care they need. The problem is so pervasive that the average time it takes for people to visit a hearing specialist after they notice a hearing issue is seven years.
Waiting doesn’t make hearing loss go away, in fact, ignoring hearing problems can make them worse. Most hearing loss is gradual and permanent, related to irreparable damage that our ears sustain as we age. When loud noises, infection, injury or other factors cause damage to our hearing it contributes to significant hearing loss. Hearing loss can’t be “fixed” but it can be managed effectively with assistive devices like hearing aids.
The longer hearing loss goes unaddressed, the more fundamental changes happen to how we hear. Not only can our cumulative noise-induced hearing loss worsen, procrastinating about hearing loss causes adaptive changes in our brain. When we can’t sense a full range of sounds, our mind forges new patterns to piece together meaning. In contrast, the earlier hearing loss is treated, the easier it is for your sense of hearing to adapt to an assistive device.
Hearing loss isn’t an easy thing to face. It changes how we communicate with others and can feel like a limitation to how we express ourselves and navigate the world around us. When we don’t feel like we can communicate properly, that loss of connection can fuel feelings of depression to set in. For people with untreated hearing loss, their hearing limitations make them vulnerable to increased rates of depression, anxiety and isolation.
Depression can be especially crushing if a person is reluctant to confront their hearing loss. Difficulty hearing can stoke feelings of resentment, frustration and futility which continually contribute to the foundation of depression.
While hearing loss can’t be cured, treating hearing loss goes a long way towards improving your quality of life and ability to communicate with others. When you use a hearing therapy like hearing aids, your speech comprehension gets a big boost that helps you participate in your community and stay in touch with family and friends. Treating hearing loss helps lessen the factors that let depression take hold.
Hearing loss can alter your life and even subtly change the way we behave socially. Not being able to fully hear the sounds around us makes it harder to be comfortable in our surroundings and more difficult to follow conversations with others. These factors can make engaging in social events less enjoyable, even something to be avoided. Many people with hearing loss find that untreated hearing loss curtailed their social behavior and mobility. Rates of isolation are far higher for people with unaddressed hearing issues than in the general population.
Being proactive about treating hearing loss is a great way to curb isolation. Hearing aids are designed to help you recover speech comprehension and conversation. With a fuller palette of sound, assistive devices help you stay connected to the important people and activities in your life.
Atlanta Hearing Doctor
Looking for a hearing professional who really understands how personal hearing loss is? At Atlanta Hearing Doctor, we work with you to find the best answers for your hearing issues. From complete hearing exams to individualized analysis and treatment strategies, we build your care around your needs.