The Journey to Hearing Better

Posted by Living Sounds

The Most Fulfilling Journeys Start with a Goal

Like most journeys, the journey to better hearing usually begins with the desire to accomplish a goal. In this case, the goal is to finally do something about your hearing loss and stop letting it impact your quality of life.

We say “finally” because unlike eyesight, which people address by getting glasses as soon as it fades, hearing loss tends to be ignored or put off for as long as possible.

The reasons for delay in seeking treatment are as varied as the people who experience hearing loss:

  • The onset of hearing loss is usually gradual— Making it easier to ignore or go unnoticed.
  • It’s not always recognized for what it is— Instead, it is perceived as other people talking too softly or mumbling.
  • It’s viewed as inconsequential—“So what if I can’t’ hear as well? It’s not hurting anyone but me.”
  • It’s relatively easy to work around— You can just turn the TV up louder or avoid places where it’s more of a problem.
  • There’s a concern about how hearing aids look and what others will think—“My hearing isn’t bad enough for hearing aids.”
  • Once people fully understand the dynamics of hearing loss, the determination to take this fulfilling journey can begin. So let’s start there.

Fact: On average, people wait seven years between first noticing their hearing loss and finally taking action.

Hearing Loss Affects More Than Just You

Many people put off treating their hearing loss because they wrongly assume it’s only harming themselves. However, your hearing loss can impact others in many ways:

  • Frustration—When others constantly have to repeat themselves.
  • Misunderstanding—Your withdrawal from people and activities may be misinterpreted as rudeness or disinterest in others.
  • Concern— You are unable to hear warning sounds like smoke detectors, alarms or sirens.
  • Confusion—When you answer incorrectly, don’t respond at all or relay the wrong information.

How Hearing Loss Can Impact Your Life

If you think hearing loss is inconsequential, you should know that studies have linked untreated hearing loss to significant issues such as:

  • Diminished psychological and overall health
  • Impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
  • Reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
  • Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
  • Social rejection and loneliness
  • Fatigue, tension, stress and depression
  • Irritability, negativism and anger
  • Reduced job performance and earning power

*The above information was taken from “Your Journey to Better Hearing –A guide to living a healthy hearing life” Starkey 2013

Cathy Robinson BC-HIS
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner

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