Hearing loss will affect many of us at some point in our lives. According to recent statistics, almost 25% of Americans between 65 and 75 have a significant level of hearing loss. When you look at people over the age of 75, that number rises to more than 50%. But young people aren’t immune to hearing loss either, as roughly 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have some degree of hearing impairment, due mostly to exposure to excessively loud noises.
Although hearing loss is widespread, it’s not an insurmountable problem. In fact, for most people the solution is simple: get a hearing aid.
Getting a Hearing Aid
The process of acquiring a hearing aid is relatively easy. If you talk with your family physician, he or she will likely refer you to an ear, nose and throat doctor or an audiologist. These hearing specialists will be able to provide you with the appropriate kind of hearing aid and can help you calibrate it to suit your needs.
During this process, you will have to undergo a consultation and hearing exam, which are typically covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans. Unfortunately, these same plans often won’t pay for the hearing aids themselves, but the devices are relatively inexpensive.
Many hearing loss sufferers are amazed at the difference hearing aids can make. While older models just turned up the volume on all of the sounds coming into the ear, today’s models work a little bit differently. Modern hearing aids not only amplify sound, but they also clarify it and dampen background noise.
Social Effects of Hearing Loss
When you think of hearing loss, you probably think about the practical effects of not being able to hear the world around you. But hearing impairment also carries with it a number of social and emotional side effects.
Often, people suffering from hearing loss will start to withdraw from the world, sitting alone at social functions or declining to attend in the first place. But the emotional problems actually run much deeper than that.
According to researchers, people with impaired hearing are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression. Additionally, hearing loss has been shown to have a bigger impact on quality of life than heart disease, hypertension or diabetes.
Given the impact that hearing loss can have on your life, it’s not a problem to be taken lightly, and early intervention is key. If you’re worried that your hearing ability may be diminishing, be sure to talk to your doctor about your options.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!