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Over 48 million people have hearing loss but only 1 in 5 people will seek treatment for it. This means that millions of people live with untreated hearing loss, a medical condition that reduces capacity to hear and process speech as well as sound. This takes a toll on hearing and communication, essential ways we navigate daily life. Strained hearing and communication impacts relationships, social engagement, work life, and overall health. This highlights the importance of scheduling a hearing test and prioritizing your hearing health.
Widespread Inaction on Hearing Loss
Though hearing loss is pervasive, it still remains significantly undertreated. Studies show that people tend to avoid treating their symptoms and that delayed treatment is common. This includes a recent study that investigated inaction on hearing loss which was conducted by the American- Speech -Language -Hearing-Association (ASHA). Researchers surveyed over 2,000 adults and found that:
- More than 51% of all adults reported having hearing problems, but only 11% have sought treatment.
- More than 78% of those with hearing problems have experienced them for 1 or more years. Over 35% have had trouble for 5 or more years.
- 2 in 10 adults have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, compared with 6 in 10 who have had their vision tested.
These findings reveal how common it is to ignore symptoms, even when experienced for a number of years. This data is part of extensive research that shows that hearing health is often not prioritized and this results in untreated hearing loss being common.
Understanding Why Treatment is Avoided
It takes an average of 7 years for people to address their hearing loss symptoms. This can significantly worsen impairment and the multifaceted effects of untreated symptoms. It is useful to understand why treatment tends to be avoided so that you can better prioritize and protect your hearing health.
- Misconceptions: though hearing loss is common, there are many misconceptions about it that contribute to a delay in treatment. Popular myths include that hearing loss is curable, only affects older adults, isn’t serious etc. These myths minimize the magnitude of hearing loss and its impact. Hearing loss is a chronic medical condition that not only affects hearing and communication but also relationships, social life, and overall health.
- Stigma: another reason people often avoid hearing loss treatment is that there can be stigma still associated with it. People may feel embarrassed and will withhold their hearing challenges even from loved ones. Though it can be tough to acknowledge changes to one’s health, intervening early can really improve your hearing health.
- Cost: insurance typically doesn’t cover all expenses related to hearing loss. This can mean that hearing health services and treatment options are costly which can contribute to inaction. But it is useful to know that your hearing healthcare provider can help you with budget efficient options.
These factors can delay treatment which can worsen hearing loss and the impact it often has on everyday life.
Scheduling a Hearing Test
There is a range of hearing healthcare services, resources, and solutions that you can access. The first step towards treatment is scheduling a hearing test which is conducted by a hearing healthcare specialist. The evaluation process is painless and non invasive! It involves thoroughly assessing your hearing capacities in both ears which identifies any hearing loss you are experiencing in each year. Once your hearing needs are identified, your hearing healthcare provider can tailor treatment to meet your individual needs.
The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These are electronic devices that are designed to absorb and process speech as well as sound. This alleviates hearing loss symptoms and maximizes hearing capacity. Hearing aids strengthen hearing and communication which offers numerous benefits. This includes improving relationships, enriching social life, and enhancing overall health which supports quality of life.
Prioritize Your Hearing Health Today
You can prioritize your hearing health by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. Contact us today to schedule a hearing consolation. Our practice offers comprehensive services that are invested in transforming your hearing health. We look forward to supporting you and prioritizing your hearing health!