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Utah: 435-688-8991 Nevada: 702-896-0031

The Risks Of Delaying Hearing Loss Treatment

Many people wait a long time, an average of seven years, before addressing encroaching hearing loss. This tendency has a number of causes, not least of which is the “frog in hot water” syndrome.

We’ve all heard the metaphor. A frog dropped into a pot of steaming, bubbling water will jump out right away. A frog placed in a pot of lukewarm water that’s slowly brought to a boil, however, won’t sense any danger and will instead allow itself to be cooked.

Incremental changes are harder to perceive than quick and drastic ones. In this way, it’s possible for someone to become accustomed to incremental hearing loss, gradually adjusting to the “new normal.”

While some people fail to realize the extent of their impairment, others put off talking to a doctor out of avoidance. They fear learning that their hearing issues are severe, irreversible and likely to worsen. We all dread getting bad news, but it’s just not worth it to take a wait-and-see approach.

Untreated hearing loss can diminish your:

  • Job security and earning power
  • Connection with friends and family
  • Sense of control over the world
  • Brain function, specifically in your speech and memory centers
  • Sense of well-being, with hearing loss spurring frustration, irritability and a sense of isolation

Failing to treat hearing loss also exacerbates the physical problem. Being consistently unable to hear may cause the auditory processing centers of your brain to atrophy. This can decrease your ability to comprehend speech, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids.

The symptoms listed below are common warning signs of hearing loss.

  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Failing to understand movie dialogue, or what’s being said in a public forum like church
  • Getting lost in group conversations
  • Having trouble hearing people talking over the phone
  • Perceiving others as mumbling
  • Straining to hear when people talk softly
  • Struggling to understand people when you can’t see their faces, like when someone addresses you from another room
  • Needing to increase the TV or Radio volume over time

If your hearing is deteriorating, it’s important you get to a qualified audiologist right away. It’s a matter of jumping out of that slowly boiling water, moving from fear and avoidance to certainty, relief, and rehabilitation.

You may feel better about your situation if you consider that you’re not alone. Fifteen percent of Americans report hearing trouble, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

What To Expect From Your Audiologist

Your doctor will begin with a diagnostic hearing evaluation, a noninvasive procedure that can help determine the level and nature of your hearing loss. There are a number of common hearing tests including:

  • Pure Tone Audiometry, which gauges basic tone-detection
  • Bone Conduction, which gauges inner-ear function
  • Speech Discrimination, which measures how well you understand what you are hearing
  • Speech Recognition, which determines your ability to hear and understand normal conversations
  • Tympanometry, which can determine if there’s fluid behind your eardrum

If you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss, take heart. Most people can find real improvement with hearing aids, proper education, and customized hearing rehabilitation. Our doctors of Audiology may also recommend:

  • Clearing excess ear wax
  • A cochlear implant (not a suitable option for all hearing loss patients)
  • The use of assistive devices like blinking-light alarms, amplified telephone, or bluetooth hearing devices

If you’ve been having trouble hearing but are avoiding addressing the issue, it’s time to end the waiting game and contact The Hearing Doctors. Trade your doubts for a diagnosis and the increasing silence for a solution. Your ears, and your family, will surely thank you.

Related resources concerning hearing loss prevention, treatment, and education:

How To Enjoy The Restaurant Experience Regardless of Hearing Loss Symptoms

5 Hearing Aid Accessories From ReSound That’ll Make Your Life Better

Microphone Directionality Effect On Your Hearing Ability

Hearing Health: Common Signs Of Progressive Hearing Loss

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