Did you know that it takes most people an average of 7 to 10 years before they address their hearing loss? While there are a variety of reasons that folks delay seeking treatment, one may be that doctors often only conduct hearing checks per patient request.
A meta-analysis conducted in 2011, which reviewed the presence of hearing checks in primary care settings, revealed that almost two-thirds of primary care doctors do not include a hearing check at yearly physical exams.
Unfortunately, many folks assume that since their doctor hasn’t taken note of their hearing loss, they must not have hearing loss. However, unless you ask about it, your doctor will most likely not discuss your hearing health.
Here are just 4 reasons to request a hearing screening at your next annual physical.
1. Hearing loss can be a symptom of other medical conditions.
Oftentimes, when one aspect of our physical health is not at its best, another aspect may begin to suffer as as a result. As such, you may be surprised to learn that your hearing health may be an indicator of other significant health issues.
For example, your hearing health may reflect your heart’s health. In 2010, the Journal of Audiology published a meta-analysis of studies conducted over the past six-decades, which explored the connection between hearing health and heart disease. Results showed that poor cardiovascular health can lead to hearing loss.
That being said, if you’re having trouble hearing, it could be your body’s way of telling you that you have something else to be concerned about, such as heart disease, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
2. Untreated hearing loss can lead to other health issues.
Unfortunately, the effects of hearing loss are not limited to difficulty hearing and communicating with others. Not only has hearing loss been identified as a symptom of health issues, but it can lead to other health concerns.
One serious health issue that can result from untreated hearing loss is Alzheimer's Disease. In 2011, the Archives of Neurology published a study identifying hearing loss as a risk factor for this memory-related disease. Researchers suspect that the cognitive overload and social isolation that often results from hearing loss can lead to this decline in cognitive abilities.
Whether you or your loved one are struggling to hear, seeking treatment may be the first step to improving both your hearing health and preventing other health issues, including dementia or depression.
3. Untreated hearing loss impacts your quality of life.
Considering that hearing loss can lead to other health concerns, it should come as no surprise that hearing loss can impact your overall quality of life as well. This is because your ability to hear greatly influences how well you can communicate with others, perform daily tasks, and more.
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) offers a detailed discussion on how hearing loss can impact your quality of life. Their survey revealed that hearing aid wearers were more likely to participate in social activities, experience healthier interpersonal relationships, and view themselves more positively than non-hearing aid wearers.
With these findings in mind, waiting to treat your hearing loss may also mean waiting to experience an improved quality of life. Not only will you hear better, but you will be able to better enjoy the best things in life, from social outings to time spent with family.
4. Untreated hearing loss can cost you money.
If knowing that untreated hearing loss can lead to health issues and a lower quality of life hasn’t convinced you to get your hearing checked, you should also know that it can negatively impact your earning potential.
BHI's assessment of how hearing loss impacts quality of life also exposed that those with moderate to profound hearing losses had yearly incomes of $5,000 to $6,000 less than hearing aid wearers. Hearing aid wearers also reported having more discretionary income than non-hearing aid wearers.
Hearing aid wearers often earn more because they most likely have an easier time communicating well with others and within the workplace. And if you have hearing loss yourself, you can probably attest to the issues presented by untreated hearing loss, so why not seek treatment?
What can you do if you are diagnosed with hearing loss?
If you get your hearing checked and the test results reveal that you have hearing loss, don’t be too dismayed: Most mild hearing losses can be treated with the help of hearing aids. In fact, 28.8 million American adults could benefit from wearing hearing aids, and there’s a strong chance you could too. In fact, it could benefit your mental and physical health as well.
At Advanced Affordable Hearing, our mission is to help people hear better at a price they can afford. You won’t even need to visit your local hearing care professional. Instead, simply visit our Online Hearing Check, or call one of our friendly customer service representatives at 1 (800) 804-0434. After that, you can find the right hearing aids for your hearing loss.
Have any questions or concerns? Contact us now.