Hearing loss is nothing to be embarrassed about. After all, you’re in good company, with one in six Australians living with some form of hearing loss. Hearing loss can affect anyone at any age. It’s not just the domain of the elderly, as many believe. If you recognise any of these signs and symptoms in yourself or a loved one, the best time to take action is now.
Unfortunately, we know that people wait on average five to seven years before they begin treatment for their hearing loss. That’s a lot of missed moments of joy. If you’ve been delaying seeking help for your hearing, we hope these five facts will change your mind!
- Treating your hearing loss is better for your wallet
Access Economics, one of Australia’s leading consulting firms, has published research that shows untreated hearing loss can cost you when it comes to your earning power at work. The ‘Listen Hear – The economic impact and cost of hearing loss in Australia’ report reveals that people with partial and total hearing loss took home less each week than those with no hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss can also lead to lost productivity through time off work due to flow-on effects, which can include depression, fatigue and other mental health disorders.
- Stay sharp and avoid cognitive decline
Research has linked untreated hearing loss to diseases hallmarked by cognitive decline, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is because our brain plays such a large role in how we hear.
Studies by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers found that hearing loss is linked to accelerated cognitive decline in older adults, with those experiencing hearing loss significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who have normal levels of hearing. Another Johns Hopkins study discovered a link between hearing loss and a faster rate of brain tissue loss.
Experts believe that treating hearing loss with hearing aids can both slow the loss of brain tissue and also prevent cognitive decline.
- Kick annoying tinnitus to the kerb
Tinnitus is a symptom that can unfortunately go hand-in-hand with hearing loss. The unwanted noises of tinnitus may include ringing, buzzing, whistling, roaring, clicking or others. Each person’s tinnitus is different. While some find their tinnitus only mildly annoying, others find the noises incredibly stressful and even debilitating.
Modern hearing aids can both treat hearing loss and provide relief from tinnitus, through advanced technologies.
- Hearing aid wearers are really satisfied with the results
Users of hearing aids report very high customer satisfaction levels, according to the Better Hearing Institute. More than 91 percent of those recently fitted were satisfied with their purchase, and nearly 90 percent would recommend hearing aids to others.
Let these results speak for themselves.
- Enjoy a better connection with those you love
Hearing loss has a ripple effect. It doesn't just affect the individual at the centre, but their partner, family, colleagues and friends too. The emotional impacts can include fears and anxiety for the safety of someone with hearing loss – will they hear smoke alarms or vehicle engines? Untreated hearing loss can indeed be a major source of frustration with loved ones needing to be the ‘ears’ of the individual. Or having to repeat themselves constantly and struggle to communicate. People with untreated hearing loss sometimes choose to isolate themselves from social situations, which can hurt relationships with others and create distance.
Treating hearing loss can not only bring the intimacy back to close relationships, but also allay the concerns and fears of loved ones.