“Loss of hearing is a medical condition that is associated with physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. Depression, anxiety, emotional instability, phobias, withdrawal, isolation, lessened health status and lessened selfesteem have all been linked to uncorrected hearing loss.” (National Council on Aging: Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Depression, Anxiety, Isolation in Seniors)
Even mild untreated hearing loss can be disabling by limiting meaningful communication and social connectivity leading to fatigue, tension, stress, and impaired memory, the ability to learn new tasks, and even reduced job performance and earning power.
A major reason why millions of Americans living with untreated hearing loss should take action is safety. Studies have linked untreated hearing loss to reduced alertness. Unheard and therefore unheeded traffic sounds, doorbells, telephones, alarms, and cries for help compromise the safety of those with hearing loss and everyone around them. The failure to hear smoke detectors and take quick action is the major reason adults 65 or older are more than twice as likely as any other age group to die in a home fire. Why seeking help is so important
Those living with untreated hearing loss may not be aware that failure to take corrective action could result in the brain actually “forgetting” how to hear and understand speech. This condition is called auditory deprivation and the longer the period before treatment, the more likely it is that the brain will forget how to process speech, even after treatment is implemented.
Almost all (95 percent) of Americans with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.
Nine out of ten hearing aid users report improvements in quality of life.
The use of hearing aids is associated with reductions in anger, frustration, paranoia, anxiety and overall improvements in quality of life and emotional stability.
In November 2010, The Better Hearing Institute reported studies have shown that the use of hearing aids can help Alzheimer’s patients. Because there is a strong link between hearing loss and cognitive function, they, in partnership with Alzheimer’s Association, are encouraging hearing health professionals to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, its early warning signs, and the related implications of unaddressed hearing loss.
Treatment of hearing loss will improve interpersonal relationships and social activity.
Successful treatment of hearing loss with hearing aids is associated with greater earning power.
Use of hearing aids will allow those with hearing loss to live more safely, securely, and independently.
HearUSA, with 29 locations in MI and over 175 in the US, is the administrator of the AARP Hearing Care program, designed to help millions of Americans aged 50+ who have hearing loss. To locate the HearUSA near you, or to schedule an appointment, please call 1-800- 698-6767 or go to www.hearusa.com. Little known facts about hearing loss
Hearing loss is called ‘the invisible handicap’ because there are no outward signs of difficulty or disorder and the loss is almost always gradual, usually over a period of years, and there is no pain.
Among seniors, hearing loss is the third most prevalent medical condition, following arthritis and hypertension.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss than those who do not have diabetes.
Smokers and overweight individuals are also at increased risk for hearing loss.
Inability to hear and understand instructions by physicians, pharmacists or caregivers can put personal health in jeopardy.
Men that regularly use aspirin, acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs experience more hearing loss.
Also, men that take phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors are twice as likely to develop hearing loss as men who do not.
Depression, isolation and alienation can plague those who have hearing loss.