why do so many people have an untreated hearing loss?

Why Do So Many People Have an Untreated Hearing Loss?

09/25/2020 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

After helping so many people from across Alaska with their hearing concerns, I know the incredible benefits that treatments can offer.

They don’t just let my patients hear sounds they’ve missed for years, but also, let them re-connect with those in their community.

In addition, great hearing is essential to your overall health, as it assists your brain in making decisions and processing information.

Research has shown that once a hearing loss stops this from taking place, over time, people can experience cognitive issues – with risks of syndromes such as dementia heightened.

Despite this, I often treat patients who have waited years before seeking my professional assistance. So why do people delay their crucial first appointment?

It’s easily missed

One of the key reasons people spend an average of ten years with an untreated hearing loss is that they don’t realize that they have an issue.

Often, people believe that because they can still hear some sounds or only struggle in certain circumstances, they don’t need to speak to an audiologist.

But if someone gets the right assistance when their issue first arises, then their hearing can be preserved at an excellent level for far longer.

Loved ones are often the first people to recognize the key signs of a hearing loss.

They may find that a person says “huh” or “what” regularly, or turns up the TV louder than normal and struggles to communicate in busy, bustling locations.

If you begin to see someone exhibiting these symptoms, it’s probably time they had a chat with me about their hearing.

“I don’t want to feel old.”

Another reason why people often decide to delay treatment for a hearing loss is that they’re worried about how people will perceive them if they require hearing aids.

This notion often stems from how their grandparents were treated after they were fitted with very basic devices many decades prior.

But in reality, a lot has changed since that early period.

Hearing technology is incredibly advanced now, providing fantastic sound quality and the capability to stream calls and music straight from your smartphone.

In addition, wider opinions surrounding hearing loss have changed dramatically, and many people find that they seem younger once they can catch every word in conversations.

“The investment concerns me.”

Another issue that I regularly find among the people who wait for years to ask for help is that they’re worried about the financial implications of treatments.

This is entirely understandable, as hearing aid technology often requires some form of investment.

But the good news is that, more and more, insurance providers recognize that it’s crucial to treat a hearing loss early and are prepared to cover some or all of the costs of the technology.

In addition, it’s worth recognizing that this will be an investment in your quality of life – with treatments essential in preventing other health complications in the future.

If you have any hearing concerns or know someone who is struggling, my door is always open. So call me at (907) 522-4357, and together, we can find a great solution!

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Dr. Emily E McMahan

Dr. McMahan attended the University of Cincinnati where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2009. She furthered her professional education by obtaining her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in Philadelphia in 2013. She completed her residency in Anchorage and has been applying her expertise to her patients in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Whether you need hearing testing, hearing aids, or assistance with managing tinnitus in your daily lives, Dr. McMahan is qualified to assist you!

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