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If your family members have asked you to turn the volume down on the TV or radio multiple times, or if you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves often in conversation, you may have a hearing loss. Hearing loss is the third most common medical condition in the United States, but it is often undiagnosed or undertreated. In part, this is due to the fact that it is an invisible condition.
It is also due to the fact that people tend to hide their hearing loss by making accommodations – such as turning up the volume or asking people to repeat themselves. Unfortunately, these accommodations do not provide a long-term solution, and eventually hearing loss does create unhealthy situations, from isolating oneself from their loved ones to increasing the risk for developing dementia.
In honor of the upcoming Father’s Day, why not invest in your loved ones by taking a hearing test?
The Effects of Hearing Loss
For 48 million Americans, hearing loss is a part of everyday life. It is estimated that people wait an average of seven years from the time they first experience changes in their hearing until they decide to seek treatment. During this time, untreated hearing loss may take a toll on many parts of one’s life – from physical to emotional well-being.
Because hearing loss is a medical condition, it is easier to think about the physical effects of untreated hearing loss – from increased falls and hospitalizations to a potentially increased risk for dementia.
However, untreated hearing loss greatly affects our interpersonal relationships, including our families.
Difficulty with Communication
One of the main challenges with hearing loss is a difficulty with communication. Though the configuration and experience of hearing loss differs from person to person, one underlying thread is that hearing loss interferes with the ability to recognize speech. There may be confusion and misunderstanding during conversation, which could lead to frustrating situations within a family dynamic.
Many who experience hearing loss say that they are able to hear, but not understand. Because communication is crucial to every healthy relationship, this breakdown may lead to a deterioration of interpersonal relationships. Over time, it could worsen to isolation and social withdrawal.
Avoidance of Social Situations
Because of the effect of hearing loss on communication, people may begin to avoid social gatherings and hang outs over time. Dinners at restaurants, happy hours at bars, going to live sporting events – these are all noisy and difficult for people who experience hearing loss. Background noise interferes with the ability to follow a conversation and recognize speech. Rather than fight through it, people will begin to withdraw and avoid these events altogether.
Unfortunately, this leads to a number of big issues. Indeed, the effect on relationships is detrimental. It also takes a toll on one’s self-confidence and emotional well-being, as hearing loss leads to an increased risk for stress, anxiety, and depression. Even more, older people with limited social interactions are at higher risk for developing dementia.
Why It’s Important to Schedule a Hearing Test
There’s no reason to live with untreated hearing loss. The quick fix: schedule a hearing test with us at the Hearing Aid Specialists of the Central Coast.
Hearing tests are quick, painless, and easy. If a hearing loss is detected after your hearing test, our team will work with you to find the best hearing solution to meet your needs. The most common treatment for hearing loss is the prescription of hearing aids.
Hearing aids are designed to help improve speech recognition, with features that boost soft conversations in quiet places and help you focus on multiple speakers in noisy environments. With wireless compatibility, hearing aids connect to your smartphone, allowing you to stream phone calls directly to your ears. This will drastically improve how you keep in touch with your family and loved ones!
Hearing aids bring many significant benefits to one’s overall health and well-being, and not least of all, they drastically improve your interpersonal relationships. If you feel as though your relationships to your loved ones have been strained lately, schedule a hearing test with us at Hearing Aid Specialists of the Central Coast. Your family will thank you for it!