Denial of Hearing Loss

How do you interact to people with an untreated hearing loss? The majority of us become frustrated with the constant repeating of conversations. We are less likely to interact with people who constantly ask us to repeat ourselves. Yet, if we are the person with an untreated hearing loss, we overwhelmingly deny the possibility that others could react to us with that same frustration.

Why do so many seniors deny their hearing loss? The answer is complicated. To effectively treat hearing loss we must first overcome a mix of psychological, physical, and financial issues. Studies have found that a significant factor in the denial of hearing loss and treatment is a perception that hearing aids will somehow make the user look old or weak. Although most seniors say they do not judge others who use hearing aids, they still hold on to the idea that hearing aids are a sign that they are aging and starting to look frail. The thought of getting hearing aids that fit and function properly, not to mention paying for them, are other factors that can cause seniors to give up before they even start.

The average senior waits about 7 years to seek treatment for their hearing loss. This delay comes at a tremendous cost. A recent study by the National Council on Aging of 2,304 people with hearing loss found that those who didn’t use hearing aids were 50% more likely to experience depression than people who did wear hearing aids. The study also found that people with hearing loss often avoided participating in social activities.

Seeking treatment for hearing loss is more than just hearing conversations. When people with hearing loss wear the latest in hearing technology, they regain control of their life. They are more emotionally stable, and they are more likely to participate in social activities. Often cognitive function is increased with the use of hearing aids. Ask yourself if you’ve ever had the following thoughts:

    • My hearing is not bad enough to need hearing aids
    • If others would speak clearly and not mumble I would hear fine
    • Hearing loss is ok; it is part of the aging process and no big deal
    • Hearing loss is not life-threatening, therefore it isn’t important
    • Hearing loss is a weakness
    • I have become dependent on coping strategies like turning up the TV, having others speak directly to you or lip read
    • I do not understand the benefits of hearing aids
    • Hearing aids cost too much

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, I would challenge you to book an appointment as soon as possible so that we can do a hearing evaluation and expand your confidence in using hearing aids. Help us help you take control of your life so that you can continue to age gracefully.

Cathy Robinson BC-HIS
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences