Most people wait an average of 7 years from the time they are first told they have a hearing loss to the time they get hearing aids.
Why is that?
To be honest everyone has their own reasons, but most commonly they have to do with:
The 4 Main Reasons People Wait Too Long to Get Hearing Aids
Denial of the need. Even people who have been told they have a hearing loss still may feel like they get along alright without hearing aids.
While this may be true in some cases, hearing loss should not be something that is just dealt with. There are probably some places where they have difficulty hearing and some people they have difficulty understanding. There is no need to “get along alright” when you could be “getting along great” with communication.
Finances. Most health insurance companies, including Medicare do not cover hearing aid expenses. For this reason, a lot of people put off buying hearing aids because they are too expensive.
Yes, hearing aids can be costly. But, there is something out there for everyone who wants to improve their hearing. While you may not be able to afford the top-of-the-line hearing aids that are available, discussing some other more basic options with an Audiologist is the next step. They may also be able to help you with payment plans or additional funding options.
Cosmetic appearance. Even though hearing loss does not only effect the elderly, there is still a stigma attached to hearing aids. A lot of people feel that if they wear a hearing aid, they are going to look old. They may not want their friends to see their hearing aids.
Hearing aids in the past were not very attractive. They have come a long way since then. There are hearing aids in several shapes and sizes. There are hearing aids that are now virtually invisible. If the excuse for not buying a hearing aid is that you don't want people to see it, then you have run out of excuses. Not being able to hear the conversation makes you look older than wearing a hearing aid.
Comfort. Sometimes people feel that wearing hearing aids is too much hassle. After all, you have to remember to put them in, change the battery, and clean them daily.
If you are seeing an Audiologist for your hearing aid service needs then they will be sure to show you exactly what needs to be done to wear hearing aids without the hassle. A lot of the new digital hearing aids are automatic, which means that once you put them in, there is no fuss. They adjust to sounds automatically without you having to push a lot of buttons.
4 Reasons You Shouldn't Wait to Get a Hearing Aid
I have listed some of the reasons people put off wearing hearing aids, but there are even better reasons for why you shouldn't wait to wear hearing aids once you have identified a hearing loss.
Quality of life can be diminished. Several studies have shown that people who have hearing loss that is left untreated are more likely to experience social isolation, depression, anxiety, and lack of confidence.
Improved relationships. Communication is important in any relationship, whether it is your significant other, friends, or other family members. When there is a consistent breakdown in communication between you and your loved ones, the relationship can start to suffer.
Greater risk of memory loss or dementia. Recent studies have shown that people who have hearing loss are more likely to suffer from memory loss and are at a greater risk for developing dementia. This is because the brain is lacking that stimulation that comes from hearing. Wearing hearing aids may help to reduce these negative effects of hearing loss.
Decreased socialization. When hearing is difficult you are more likely to avoid certain situations which require more effort to hear. This may result in reduced social activities such as volunteering, religious meetings, or group outings/dinners.
There can be some serious consequences of untreated hearing loss. But, there is a simple solution. Once you suspect a hearing loss, go get tested. If a hearing loss is confirmed by your Audiologist, start wearing hearing aids now.
If you're looking for more in depth information make sure you check out our latest series, the Ultimate Guide to Buying Hearing Aids.