It’s accepted by millions of individuals every year that their eyesight has worsened and they will need to wear glasses or contacts daily. However, when it comes to losing one’s hearing it is interpreted as a completely different situation. For whatever reason, hearing loss is stereotyped as being something that occurs to only very old individuals who are slowly beginning to weaken.
When you think of individuals wearing glasses or contacts you do not focus on one age group wearing them. Conversely, when you think of hearing aids your mind automatically shoots to an image of your grandfather in his recliner going “what, I can’t hear you!” For many individuals facing hearing loss they are afraid to admit their situation in fear of being seen as this stereotype. In actuality, roughly 28 millions Americans (to put this more simply, roughly 1 in 10 individuals) have to deal with hearing loss as they age.
So when does hearing loss tend to become apparent in older adults? The answer is sooner than you may think. At about 55 years of age is when most Americans will start to experience some type of age related hearing loss. What often occurs is that hearing slowly starts to diminish in both ears and that the loss gradually worsens over time. This hearing loss is usually permanent. By age 65 hearing loss is one of the most prominent health problems, falling only second to arthritis. However, 60% of those who suffer from hearing loss still are refusing to get treated and wear a hearing aid. Often times these individuals blame others for their hearing issues, claiming that there are too many people talking at once, someone is mumbling, or that background noises are too loud.
Doctors who work with the patients who do admit that they have hearing loss admit that these patients go through a suffering-like process in the path to accept their problem. Often times these patients begin with denial, then get angry, and then often get saddened before they truly accept that they are becoming hard of hearing. If you think that you may be becoming hard of hearing check with your doctor and get tested. Make yourself aware of the various products and devices that are in the hearing aid market today (you may be surprised that many devices are far from what you saw your grandfather wear years ago). Hearing loss affects millions of aging adults every year, be proactive in taking the needed steps to stay healthy and don’t be one of the millions every year who leaves their hearing loss untreated.