Latest posts by Janiece Dickenson, HIS (see all)
- Undertreated & Undiagnosed: Age-Related Hearing Loss - October 30, 2019
- Healthy Habits to Protect Your Hearing - August 17, 2019
- Sounds That Could Harm Your Hearing - July 19, 2019
Hearing loss can happen slowly making it an issue that doesn’t seem like a big problem – until, of course, it becomes one. Finding out that you have hearing loss isn’t an easy thing to face. Even though hearing loss is incredibly common, misinformation still proliferates about the best course of action for dealing with hearing loss. While 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, only 1 in 4 of them choose to treat their hearing loss. This means that 75% of people with hearing loss are short-changing their health and quality of life when they put off treating their hearing issues.
Hearing loss is caused by permanent damage to the auditory system. Perceiving sound is the work of many delicate, tiny structures in the inner ear called hair cells which, unlike other types of cells in the body, cannot be repaired or replaced if they are harmed. Each time hair cells are damaged it contributes to hearing loss. Hearing loss can worsen over time when we forget to consider our hearing health, the more hair cells that stop functioning, the harder it is for our ears to detect sound.
With hearing loss, the less sound we detect from the world around us, the harder our mind has to work to piece together meaning. The process of hearing happens when sound waves in the air are detected by the hair cells in the ear and transmitted to the auditory cortex of the brain where the meaning of a sound is interpreted. Hearing loss strains the established connections the brain has made to process sound. The brain’s role in hearing then requires longer response time and more cognitive attention. The longer hearing loss is left untreated the more it changes the hearing patterns in our brain, making hearing more difficult and stressful.
While hair cells can’t be restored, there are effective ways to restore hearing health. Hearing aids are at the forefront of hearing therapy, with small, discreet devices delivering powerful sound amplification and adjustment. Using hearing aids improves your ability to hear and relieves cognitive strain caused by hearing loss.
We can see that hearing loss can gradually worsen over time, so the best time to treat hearing loss is when it is first detected. Addressing hearing loss early preserves your quality of life and the quality of your hearing. It is easiest to adjust to hearing aids when hearing loss is detected and treated early.
Although it makes sense to treat hearing loss, and to treat it as soon as it is found, many people don’t realize how big of a difference addressing hearing loss can make. Again and again, we see people who want to wait for some undetermined threshold when they feel their hearing loss will be detrimental enough to be “worth” treating. In truth, treating hearing loss at this stage can be more challenging. When hearing is allowed to deteriorate, few people recognize the serious ways hearing loss limits our social and physical health.
Many people also operate under the idea that their hearing loss affects “only them” and is therefore not worth treating. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your hearing loss affects you centrally, but it also casts a wider circle of influence. Your hearing loss intensely affects your relationships with your family and friends as well as the social environments you move through. Miscommunication caused by hearing loss can drastically change the feelings and actions of those around you, often to everyone’s detriment.
A Healthy Path
While procrastinating on treating your hearing loss can be a catalyst for big problems, treating your hearing loss works to reinforce your health. Hearing loss has been linked to a heightened risk of a diverse range of health issues from heart disease to dementia. Untreated hearing loss also takes a bite out of our quality of life. People with untreated hearing issues earn less on average than their counterparts with healthy hearing. Hearing loss is also directly related to a higher risk of social isolation, anxiety and depression if it is left without treatment.
Luckily, treating hearing loss is easier than ever with hearing aids designed for every lifestyle and level of hearing loss. At Rincalina Hearing Center we can help you find the right hearing solution for your needs. From comprehensive hearing testing to a full selection of advanced hearing treatment solutions, Rincalina Hearing Center puts your hearing health first. Connect with us today!