For seniors with hearing loss, difficulty hearing doesn't have to be a way of life. However, a recent poll showed that today's seniors are more in denial about hearing loss than ever, and there are a few reasons that can explain this trend. In the survey about 30% of those over 65 and 47% of those over 75 suffer some level of hearing loss so it would seem surprising that there are so many seniors avoiding medical assistance for hearing loss. But why is this the case?
A Matter of Perception
Seniors polled often had negative opinions of those suffering from hearing loss, and overall did not want them applied to themselves or want hearing aids out of fear of being judged. Yet the respondents polled also indicated that they themselves wouldn't judge someone wearing a hearing aid.
One in four seniors also had a negative opinion of those who ask for clarification or for someone to repeat themselves (often associated with hearing loss). However, this directly contradicts studies that show that those who do use hearing aids have healthier, happier social lives, yet the respondents were unaware that they were in fact subjecting themselves to their own negative opinions-- only 15% of those respondents thought that any of those around them were affected negatively by the very same thing they criticized!
What Can Be Done
Being proactive is key as hearing loss is progressive. Even though many seniors have access to check-ups when it comes to such things as hearing loss, they tend to avoid them. Most respondents had only had their hearing checked once or twice since becoming seniors, even though such check-ups are recommended at least every year. Based on the survey, 16 percent of seniors, in fact, have never had their hearing checked during an exam.
The easiest solution, if you are a senior, is to remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Get into the habit of regularly checking up on your hearing with your doctor of audiology.
Find out the causes and symptoms and get hearing care. And remember that modern hearing aids aren't big, bulky devices that everyone notices. New hearing aids are often quite unobtrusive, with sleek and discreet models available that are completely invisible.
Taking care of your hearing proactively will help you communicate better with your loved ones and better engage in daily activities. And that will contribute to much more vibrant golden years.