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Why age-related hearing loss should not be ignored

aging

There are many different reasons why people experience hearing loss, from illness and disease to loud sounds.

However, anyone in their 50s should be aware that hearing loss and aging do go hand and hand, which can be simply a natural part of the aging process.

Not so long ago, society looked at the idea of wearing prescription glasses as a sign of weakness. Spectacle wearers were at best seen as highly intelligent and at worst as less than normal. Now, we have celebrities advertising their own range of designer glasses and even royals being glamorized for their eyewear.

As you get older, the hair cells in your ears die. Because of this, your hearing begins to decrease. The natural fit with this is hearing aids. When eyesight begins to fail, you don’t ignore it; you go to an optician.

Ignorance

The same should be true for hearing loss. When it is noticed, a medical appointment should be made, and then your job is done. If only life was as simple as this. The mainstream media doesn’t help things, because it is still engaged in perpetuating the stigma of hearing loss. Also, the stigma of hearing loss and aging.

Much of this ignorance comes from the old terms of “deaf and dumb” being synonymous with hearing loss. Sadly, there are still a great many people who have a tendency to think of deafness in terms of mental retardation, which is insulting on so many levels.

A new report claims that untreated hearing loss costs the UK around 25.5 billion pounds per year. This huge figure shows just how many people are in need of help and for one reason or another, are struggling alone. If you notice something wrong with your hearing, you should seek a medical appointment with your healthcare provider.

Medical Professionals

However, do not assume that your chosen medical professional will diagnose anything beyond an ear wax blockage.”

If this sounds harsh, it is only because this statement is based on reality. Only about 3 out of 1000 Australian GP consultations with patients above the age of 50 involved management of age-related hearing loss.

General practitioners and allied medical staff are very well trained in a global sense, but most are not specialists. Hearing, like eyesight, is something completely at odds with their general non-specific training. This means that they are just as likely to have fallen foul to the same myths and assumptions concerning hearing loss as the rest of us. Getting a referral from a GP or nursing professional can be a challenge, but insist on one. They’re not the ones experiencing the hearing loss issues – you are.

Of course, if you’re able to do so, a private consultation is a very good idea. Many high street stores in the UK are now offering hearing tests, including some chemists and opticians.

Common signs of hearing loss

Do you have any of the issues below? If so, it may be time to get checked out.

  • Difficulty keeping up or following conversations
  • A tendency to keep turning up the volume on the TV and music players to the point that others begin to complain
  • An assumption that other people are mumbling
  • Asking people to repeat what they’ve said, because you missed it

You can also take Phonak’s free online three-minute hearing test.

Read more: Why you’re never too old to try hearing aids

As we’ve seen with celebrities making wearing glasses look cool, it’s only a matter of time before hearing loss becomes trendy. Humor aside, your hearing is no joke. It’s important to look after your ears the way you’d look after any other part of your body.

What were some symptoms of hearing loss that you experienced?

PR Hilton
PR Hilton
Phonak hEARo, Phil is an author, journalist and therapist, living on the beautiful North Yorkshire coast with his wife Raine and their three children. Phil was diagnosed in 2016 with mild to moderate Sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and tinnitus. He uses Phonak silver digital hearing aids with automatic volume controls.