Why You Shouldn’t “Wait And See” With Respect To Hearing Aids
“Wait and see” is a phrase that gets thrown around in so many situations, but it shouldn’t apply to your hearing health. The phrase “wait and see” is used when someone is facing a potentially life-changing decision that they aren’t ready to make just yet. In other words, it means putting off making the actual decision until you have more information or until something changes in your situation that makes one choice better than another. But when it comes to your hearing health, it’s best to act quickly once you suspect something is wrong. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why it’s important to focus on the management of your hearing loss early on.
There Are Many Different Causes Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can have a number of different causes. Some of the most common include:
- Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, which is caused by age-related changes in your inner ear. Because of these changes, you may notice that your ability to hear high-pitched sounds decreases.
- Medication-related hearing loss, which can be caused by taking certain medications (such as aspirin) or antibiotics. When this type of hearing loss occurs right after starting a new medication, it is usually temporary and goes away once you stop taking the medication. However, if you experience long term medication related hearing loss it could be permanent and require treatment options like hearing aids or as a worst case scenario cochlear implants.
- Exposure to loud noise over time, can cause damage to your ears leading to a condition called noise induced hearing loss or NIHL and often the sensation of tinnitus (ringing in ears).
Hearing Loss Can Have A Negative Impact On Your Daily Life
Hearing loss can affect your ability to communicate. This can make it difficult for you to understand conversations and speech in general, and will also negatively impact the quality of time spent with family or friends.
Having a hearing loss will affect your ability to understand soft speech. When there is not enough sound for you to hear the soft sounds of speech, it becomes harder for the brain to interpret what is being said around you—this means if someone speaks too fast, has an accent, or there is too much background noise, it would be difficult for you to understand what they are saying without assistance from a device like a hearing aid.
Hearing Loss Can Be Linked To Many Other Conditions, Including Heart Disease And Dementia
You might be surprised to learn that hearing loss can be linked to many other conditions, including heart disease and dementia. The more severe your hearing impairment, the higher your risk of developing health issues.
Hearing aids can help reduce the risk of developing other health issues by making conversations clearer and easier to understand. They are also known to improve sleep quality, which is important for overall physical wellness. If you have a mild or moderate hearing loss but do not wear a hearing aid regularly, this could be putting you at an increased risk for developing physical as well as mental health issues down the line—that’s why it’s important not just to “wait and see” if something is wrong with your hearing.
Our Ears Might Seem Simple, But They Are Not
The human ear is a small but highly complex organ that does a lot of work. It’s made up of three parts – outer ear, middle ear and inner ear and serves us with two primary functions; balance and hearing. Each part of the ear is designed to focus and amplify sounds so that our brain can discern and identify direction, determine urgency and distance. These cues are vital to the primal function of the brain and when the brain does not get these cues, it relies on the other senses to compensate, but this adds a large cognitive load on the brain.
Hearing Loss Is Something That Happens Gradually Over Time
Our ears are specifically tuned to be the most sensitive to the sounds of speech. The ear can be damaged by injury, illness or age. When this happens, the ears begin to lose the ability to pick up on the different sounds around us starting with the soft sounds. Sometimes this happens gradually over time but sometimes it can happen suddenly due to an accident or illness like meningitis (which attacks both your brain and spinal cord). As people age, they become more susceptible to hearing loss because their ears naturally wear over time just like any other body part would. The more time you allow your condition to go unattended, the worse it will become.
The Sooner You Start Wearing Hearing Aids, The Better Your Brain Will Adjust
Hearing aids are not like eyeglasses. The brain needs time to adjust and learn how to hear again. You may need a few weeks or months before you hear all the benefits of your new hearing aids. Your brain, your hands and your ears can get used to hearing aids more quickly if they are worn sooner. You may be able to reduce the time you wear them by using ear training techniques (such as listening for specific words or sounds) and adjusting your hearing aid settings.
The longer you wait to wear hearing aids, the harder it will be to adjust by simple virtue of it becomes harder to learn new things the older we get. The brain can get used to hearing aids more quickly if they are worn earlier or with milder hearing loss.
People Wait Between 7-10 Years Before Addressing Hearing Loss
When you consider that the average person waits 7-10 years before addressing their hearing loss, even after becoming aware of it, it’s easy to understand why many people aren’t happy with their hearing aids — and why many people end up abandoning them.
The first 3 months are crucial for personalizing your device. During this time, your hearing care professional will fine-tune the fit and sound that will result in better sound quality and overall comfort — this will require a few follow up appointments. This is especially important if you have custom-made hearing aids because they require precise measurements to ensure a precise fit.
If you don’t return for follow-up appointments after getting your new devices, there’s a good chance they won’t be working optimally which could result in less satisfaction and frustration. And remember: poor fitting devices are only one reason why people stop wearing their aids.
We hope this information has given you a better understanding of why you should consider getting hearing aids, and what the benefits are. If you’re still unsure about whether or not hearing loss is something that will affect your life, then it might be worth talking to a hearing care professional about the best way forward for you.