The Personal Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss

By Hoglund Family Hearing and Audiology Services –

The Personal Impact of Untreated Hearing LossOne of the most commonly unaddressed health conditions in America today, hearing loss affects more than 33.5 million Americans—most of whom are below retirement age.

Hearing loss can strike at any time and at any age. And when left unaddressed, hearing loss can affect virtually every aspect of an individual’s life. Numerous studies, in fact, have linked untreated hearing loss to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions, including irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, avoidance or withdrawal from social situations, social rejection and loneliness, reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety, impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks, reduced job performance and earning power, and diminished psychological and overall physical health.

Three in ten people over age 60 have hearing loss. And among Americans ages 41 to 59, about 15 percent already have hearing problems—that’s one in six Baby Boomers. Younger still, 7.4 percent—or one in 14—Generation Xers, ages 29 to 40, suffer from hearing loss. What’s more, at least 1.4 million children, 18 or younger, have hearing problems. And it’s estimated that 3 in 1,000 infants are born with serious to profound hearing loss.

Despite the numbers and the far-reaching impact hearing loss has on so many aspects of an individual’s life, many people who are aware that their hearing has deteriorated are nevertheless reluctant to seek help. Unfortunately, too many wait years, even decades, before getting treatment, becoming more and more disconnected as time goes by.

But the fact is that with modern advances in technology, there are solutions for many. In fact, 90 to 95 percent of people with hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids—and their quality of life significantly improved.”When I think of all of the advancements I’ve seen over the last few years in the quality and flexibility of today’s Advanced Digital Hearing Instruments”, says John Hoglund BC-HIS,ACA of Hoglund Family Hearing and Audiology Center, “I feel that there is NO REASON for anyone to feel concerned about our ability to help them!” “If you have the desire to improve the quality of your family communication and overall quality of life…there has never been better help available for you!”

Common Signs and Symptoms
The signs of hearing loss can be subtle and emerge slowly, or they can be significant and come on suddenly. Either way, there are common indications.

Socially, individuals with hearing loss may:

  • require frequent repetition;
  • have difficulty following conversations involving more than two people;
  • think that other people sound muffled or mumble;
  • have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms;
  • have trouble hearing children and women;
  • keep the TV or radio turned up to a high volume;
  • answer or respond inappropriately in conversations;
  • have ringing in their ears; and/or
  • read lips or more intently watch people’s faces when in conversation.

Emotionally, individuals with hearing loss may:

  • feel stressed from straining to hear what others are saying;
  • feel annoyed at others because they can’t hear or understand them;
  • feel embarrassed when meeting new people or after misunderstanding what others are saying;
  • feel nervous about trying to hear and understand; and/or
  • withdraw from social situations that they once enjoyed.

Medically, individuals with hearing loss may:

  • have a family history of hearing loss;
  • take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs);
  • have diabetes, heart, circulation, or thyroid problems; and/or
  • have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or suffered a single exposure to explosive noise.

Eye-Opening Facts about Hearing Loss

  • Approximately one in 10 Americans has some degree of hearing loss. It may reach 44 million by 2030.
  • Only 12 percent of physicians today ask patients if they have any hearing problems.
  • People with untreated hearing loss make, on average, up to $23,000 less per year, depending on the degree of their hearing loss. Wearing hearing aids mitigates the loss in earnings about 50 percent.
  • People with untreated hearing loss are more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and less likely to participate in organized activities, compared to those who wear hearing aids, according to a survey by the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) of 2,300 hearing-impaired adults, age 50 or older.
  • Untreated mild to moderate hearing loss is associated with short-term memory loss, according to a Brandeis University study.
  • Nine out of ten hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life, according to a survey by the Better Hearing Institute of more than 2,300 consumers.

Seeking Help
Hearing aids hold such great potential to positively change so many lives. And advances in digital technology have dramatically improved hearing aids, making them smaller than ever with far better sound quality. Nevertheless, only one in five people who could benefit from hearing devices currently wear them. The Better Hearing Institute encourages all people with a hearing loss to seek assistance from a hearing healthcare professional and to explore the options for improving their hearing—and their lives. The first step is to arrange for a complete Audiometric Hearing Evaluation. HOGLUND FAMILY HEARING AND AUDIOLOGY CENTERS offer these consultations on a complimentary basis in an attempt to educate the public about hearing loss. All hearing instruments come with a SIXTY DAY TRIAL PERIOD to insure you are completely satisfied with your hearing!

Complimentary Hearing Evaluations and Consultations
Hoglund Family Hearing And Audiology Services would like to give you a chance to find out how you are hearing at this point in time. Please go to the offices in Collier and Lee Counties listed below to receive a FREE HEARING TEST. You will receive a copy of this Baseline Audiogram for your personal medical records. All it will cost is a little of your time,… but the knowledge you receive may be priceless! PLEASE BRING A FAMILIAR VOICE FOR SPEECH TESTING!

Southwest Florida Tinnitus and Hearing Center
239-992-4327 (HEAR)

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