Why it’s better to treat hearing loss sooner rather than later
Let’s be honest. Making the decision to get hearing aids is not one that most people rush into.
Even when they are struggling to hear conversations, many people still put off doing something about their hearing difficulties.
They give a whole host of reasons for this. It makes them feel old. They don’t like the idea of people knowing they have a hearing loss. They’re not sure of the cost.
Doesn’t hearing loss just happen to old people?
The fact is around 3.6 million1 Australians have hearing loss. For most of us, hearing loss isn’t something that happens when we turn 40 or 50. It’s a gradual thing. 50% of Australians over 65 and up to 75% of people over 70 years of age have a significant hearing loss2
Like the rest of our body, there is a ‘natural’ deterioration as we age. Commonly, people lose their hearing over time as the tiny hair cells inside their ears wear down.
Hearing can also be damaged by other, more preventable causes. These include listening to music too loud or working in a noisy environment. Once these hair cells are damaged, the can’t be restored. Hearing loss is permanent.
Why taking action on hearing loss sooner rather than later is better for your health
The fact is, we ‘hear’ with our brain as well as our ears.
When it comes to hearing, we tend to think that our ears are doing all the work. Our hearing is a result of sounds that stimulate our nerves and our brain to create a response. With hearing loss, our brain doesn’t receive the same level of stimulation.
Research done by the well-respected Australian research organisation The Garvan Institute has found that hearing loss can affect many aspects of our lives.
Professor David Ryugo’s research on hearing and the brain concluded that:
“Early intervention demonstrates that the restoration of neural activity has an impressive benefit on brain function and language.”
He believes that early detection and sound stimulation can delay the progression of hearing loss and help slow down the incidence of dementia.
Hearing aids assist by sending a fuller clearer sound to the brain which in turn helps people regain some of their lost hearing.
Naturally, as we get older, it’s more difficult for our brain to adjust to this new stimulation. So, the sooner we help retrain our brain, the more chance we have of hearing better.
Better hearing leads to a happier and healthier life
Making the most of our senses, especially our hearing, also helps improve our quality of life and our overall health.
People who have hearing difficulties tend to be socially isolated. They feel lonelier and depressed. This can lead to a loss of independence.3
Researchers have found that people who have addressed their hearing loss feel better about themselves. They find it easier to socialise. They can more easily communicate with their work colleagues. They feel more connected to the world.
Treating hearing loss helps prevent dementia
Medical researchers at the renowned Johns Hopkins Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health are testing the relationship between hearing loss and dementia.
With an increasingly ageing population in both the US and Australia, dementia is fast becoming a major public health issue. Their research found that “hearing loss was ranked the most potentially significant of the modifiable risk factors that also included diabetes, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.”4
What can you do?
The first step is to speak to your local hearing health professional and have a hearing test.
A simple hearing check can find out if you have a hearing loss. Together with your hearing clinician, you can discuss your options for addressing it.
Any other concerns?
We believe that wen you treat hearing loss sooner, you’ll have a better quality of life.
If you have any questions about your hearing, please give us a call on 1300 017 732 to make an appointment.
As an independent, family-owned hearing care clinic, you’ll also find we like to look after our clients and offer affordable and competitive prices on all of our hearing solutions.