One of the great frustrations expressed by children, caregivers, family members, and friends of those suffering from hearing loss is the person’s denial that there is a problem and/or refusal to seek help. Hearing loss is more than just a nuisance to sufferers and those around them. Left untreated, it can lead to mental and physical deterioration and exposure to dangers of varying degrees of severity. Although it may be uncomfortable to confront people close to you about their hearing loss and encourage them to take action, continuing to ignore the issue is not a solution. By identifying the causes of resistance, you can learn how to overcome their objections and improve their quality of life.
Why seeking help is so important
Even mild untreated hearing loss can be disabling. It limits meaningful communication and social connectivity, which in turn leads to the following:
- Daily fatigue, tension, and stress
- Impaired memory
- Lack of ability to learn new tasks
- Reduced job performance and earning power
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.
Deterioration of brain functions.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.
Studies show why hearing aids are so important, especially when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Because there is a strong link between hearing loss and cognitive function, the Alzheimer’s Association, began encouraging hearing care professionals to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, its early warning signs, and the related implications of unaddressed hearing loss.
Positive statistics regarding hearing aid use
You can encourage your loved one to see a hearing professional and be fitted for hearing aids by providing some facts about how their quality of life can improve. Here are a few to get started:
- 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.
- 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.
It's time to contact a hearing care professional
For more suggestions on how to get your friend or family member to get help, call 855-355-9064 or contact us online for free advice today.
 The Better Hearing Institute. http://www.betterhearing.org/press/news/BHI_Hearing_loss_and_Alzheimers_pr10172011.cfm.