Is It OK to Put Off Getting Hearing Aids, If I Can Still Hear?

Is It OK to Put Off Getting Hearing Aids, If I Can Still Hear?

People put off getting hearing aids for all kinds of reasons. Some people simply don’t realize that they have hearing loss at all. Rather than getting a regular hearing exam, they wait until something goes wrong to inquire into their ability. When they get a hearing test, they are shocked to learn that they have hearing loss and might even wonder how long it has been the case! More commonly, people know that they have hearing loss, but they put off getting assistance. They might think that hearing aids will make them seem old or like they are losing their independence. On the contrary, hearing aids are a very effective tool to help maintain an independent lifestyle, communicating easily with people in the community. One of the most puzzling reasons that some people put off getting hearing aids is that they can “still hear.” These people seem to imagine that total deafness is the only reason to get assistance for hearing. Let’s take a moment to consider the benefits of hearing aids. These benefits can encourage anyone to get the help they need, not matter the mental gymnastics that are keeping them from getting assistance. 

Communication and Relationship Benefits

Those who wear hearing aids tend to see a great benefit for their communication ability. When they are better able to communicate with others, including their families and loved ones, they tend to find a relief of some problems in those relationships, as well. When we have hearing loss, conversations can feel like a struggle, testing our patience and resolve. That sense of frustration, anger, disappointment, and embarrassment can easily seep into the relationships themselves. Our relationships thrive on healthy, free, and open communication, but untreated hearing loss can get in the way of that flow of thoughts and feelings. Importantly, communication problems don’t only occur among those who can’t hear at all. Even a mild case of hearing loss can be enough to cause strife and struggle in a relationship. 

Health and Wellness Benefits

The body is an interconnected web of functions and systems, and hearing is no exception. Although it can come as a surprise, those who have hearing loss are more likely to have a wide range of physical and mental health problems. It’s not always as simple as hearing loss causing those problems, but risk factors tend to be higher for those with untreated hearing loss than those who wear hearing aids. Mental health is closely connected to hearing loss, as well. Those who have untreated hearing loss report higher levels of depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. On the contrary, those who wear hearing aids report a relief from those mental health symptoms. 

Cognitive Benefits

One of the greatest concerns for those who have untreated hearing loss is a correlation with higher rates of dementia. The numbers don’t lie. Those who have untreated hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia than their counterparts who do not have hearing loss. In addition, they are more likely to have a fast decline in cognitive ability once dementia sets in. The good news is that wearing hearing aids, even for a case of mild hearing loss, can reduce that added risk. Whereas brain imaging shows a difference between cognitive functioning between those who have mild hearing loss and those who have no hearing loss at all, getting treatment for hearing loss can improve those brain images. 

Hearing Aids for Those Who Can Hear

If you still have some hearing ability but have noticed problems, the time is now to get a hearing test. You don’t want to wait until you can’t hear at all to get help. Putting off a hearing test is akin to putting off receiving these benefits and many more. If you are concerned about hearing loss, take the opportunity to schedule an appointment for a diagnostic assessment today. When you get started on the road to treatment, our hearing health professionals will be there every step of the way to guide you through the process of selecting the right aids and taking advantage of the benefits available to you.