Undertreated & Undiagnosed: Age-Related Hearing Loss

Undertreated & Undiagnosed: Age-Related Hearing Loss

Bary E. Williams Au.D. Uncategorized

Are you over the age of 50? It’s time to think about your hearing health. You may think age-related hearing loss only affects seniors, but the truth is that you can start to notice the signs of hearing loss in your late 40s or early 50s. Despite this, many people wait for 5 to 7 years or more before seeking treatment for hearing loss! So why is it that age-related hearing loss is underdiagnosed and undertreated?

Why is No One Talking About Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss affects over 50 million Americans. Age-related hearing loss is the most common form of hearing loss. That’s because as we age, it’s normal to lose some hearing abilities. However, just because it’s normal doesn’t mean we should ignore it!

But hold on. If age-related hearing loss is so common, why is no one talking about it? There continues to be a stigma around hearing loss. Many people think that admitting they can’t hear clearly will make them seem old. That’s why we continue to raise awareness about hearing loss and encourage adults to treat their hearing loss as soon as possible. Hearing aids can help you hear every word of every conversation, reconnect with your loved ones, and improve your relationships.

Another reason you might not want to talk about your hearing loss is that you may not realize just how advanced modern hearing aids have become. Many adults think the only solution to hearing loss is to wear clunky hearing aids. But that’s all changing, and today you have amazing hearing aid options. 

Modern Hearing Technology

Hearing aid technology gets better every year. The clunky hearing aids you’re imagining aren’t even on the market anymore. Today’s devices are sleek, sophisticated hearing aids with some incredible features. Speech enhancement programs make it easier to hear every word, even in places with background noise. And directionality microphones help you focus on the sounds you’re trying to hear. 

Built-in tinnitus therapy programs can provide relief from tinnitus, while music listening programs will give music a full, rich sound. And advanced connectivity features let you connect your hearing aids directly to your phone. You can stream audio, phone calls, or even notifications right to your hearing aids.

Learn to Recognize Hearing Loss

Whether you’re 40, 60, or 80, it’s important to know the signs of hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss starts earlier than you think, so don’t let it take you by surprise. Some of the earliest signs of age-related hearing loss include:

  • Missing soft sounds in your environment. For example, you might have a harder time hearing the hum of the fridge or the birds chirping outside.
  • Thinking people around you are mumbling. Does it seem like all your family and friends are speaking softly or mumbling a lot? This is a sign of hearing loss.
  • Asking people to repeat themselves. If you have to ask people to speak up or repeat themselves, you probably have hearing loss.
  • Pretending you can hear. Do you ever nod along during a conversation even if you can’t make out what’s being said? This is a clear sign of hearing loss.
  • Turning up the volume on the TV. You may be turning up the volume a bit more each month, trying to catch what’s being said.

Age-related hearing loss is very gradual. The day-to-day changes are so small they’re almost impossible to notice. You adjust to your new hearing abilities, and you might not remember what your hearing capabilities were a few months ago. That’s where your family comes in. If your loved ones have been asking you to get a hearing test or complaining you can’t hear, pay attention. They may be the first to notice your hearing loss.

Treating Hearing Loss

Ready to do the right thing for your hearing health? Book a hearing test and find out more about your hearing loss. Then treat your hearing loss with hearing aids that match your lifestyle and hearing needs. It’s time to diagnose and treat age-related hearing loss and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans who need some help hearing. Visit us today to explore all your hearing aids options and find the perfect pair of hearing aids.

Bary E. Williams Au.D.
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