If you are 65 or older, chances are you or someone you love suffers from hearing loss. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent condition facing older adults. By age 65, one out of three Americans suffers from hearing loss. By age 75, one in two Americans suffers from hearing loss.
And yet, most people with hearing loss never seek treatment or use hearing aids for their hearing difficulties. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association reports only 20% of individuals who would benefit from hearing aids actually seek treatment. Additionally, those suffering from hearing loss typically wait seven to 10 years after their initial diagnosis to be fitted with their first set of hearing aids.
What are the Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss?
The impact of hearing loss extends far beyond hearing alone. Studies show untreated hearing loss may contribute to reduced cognitive function. Studies done at Johns Hopkins University implied that having a loss of hearing seemed to speed up age-related cognitive decline. They also found that dementia was more likely in seniors who had developed hearing loss.
In another study done at Johns Hopkins, it was found that those with even a mild degree of hearing loss were 30% more likely to fall. The researchers speculated that those with weak hearing are forced to put more mental energy into hearing, which takes away from spatial awareness (awareness of surfaces we are walking on, crevices or cracks, unevenness, steps, etc.).
What are the Benefits of Hearing Aids?
Many people mistakenly view hearing aids as a sign of old age, when in fact they can help you lead a more active, youthful life. Wearing a hearing aid not only improves communication and overall hearing; it makes it easier to lead an engaged lifestyle.
According to a study by the Better Hearing Institute, more than 91% of those who purchased hearing aids in the last year were satisfied with their purchase. Also, nearly 90% of current hearing aid wearers would recommend hearing aids to a friend with hearing loss.
If you think you or a loved one suffers from hearing loss, don’t delay another day. Visit a hearing health care professional for a hearing assessment. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more likely you are to suffer from cognitive decline, social isolation, depression, falls, and other negative consequences of untreated hearing loss. The time is now. Take action today!