“I’ve been living with this hearing loss for a long time. Just let me think about it,” patients often say – but living with hearing loss for a long time is more reason to act quickly than wait and think.
Hearing loss is generally a very gradual process that takes years before someone realizes that they have a communication problem. Usually, it is first identified by a spouse or friend who notices you “ignore” them, struggle to respond appropriately to a question or frequently demand, “What?”
The gradual nature of most hearing losses makes people question their urgency. After all, patients think, if I’ve already lived with it for a while, what harm can another day/week/month/year do?
The answer: a lot. Treating hearing loss as soon as possible is critical. Here are five reasons why:
1. The longer you wait, the harder it is to treat.
Imagine if you would have started going to the gym 10 years ago. Picture how you would look and how healthy you would be if you had. The same applies to hearing loss: The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the better the outcome is. This is due to your brain’s ability to adapt to the information provided. Even waiting one more day to restore your hearing is too long. 10 years from now, you will thank yourself.
2. You risk cognitive decline.
One of the most concerning aspects of untreated hearing loss is its association with cognitive decline and dementia. Studies have shown that a decrease in hearing directly correlates with a decrease in cognitive abilities. While treating your hearing loss does not guarantee prevention of dementia, experts say it can reduce the risk.
3. If you decide to wait, you’ll be waiting another seven years.
Research has indicated that individuals who elect not to treat their hearing when they first notice a hearing loss take an average of seven years before they visit a hearing-care professional again. That’s seven years that you will never get back. Not only will you be missing important moments but also your brain may never fully recover from the lack of input.
4. Your friends and family are tired of repeating themselves.
Often an individual with hearing loss doesn’t even know what they are missing. Just because your hearing loss doesn’t stress you out, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t stress your friends and family. Over time, relationships can suffer when hearing loss goes untreated.
5. There may be other effects we haven’t yet discovered.
Even as recent as a few years ago, we did not know that there was a correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline. If we did, more individuals may have started to wear hearing aids years ago. Treating hearing loss has a positive impact on so many areas of life that hesitating to pursue treatment doesn’t seem rational. We are only scratching the surface of the effects of untreated hearing loss. When more major findings come to light, would you rather be relieved you treated your hearing loss when you did or regret not doing it sooner?
Don’t wait any longer. To start treating your hearing loss today, contact Arizona Hearing Center by phone at (602) 313-1367 or by email at [email protected].
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