Are you the person who needs the television or radio volume up so loud that others complain? Do you miss some of the words in conversations or think everyone mumbles? Do you limit your socializing and going to your favorite restaurant because you struggle to hear in noisy environments? If this sounds familiar, are you also the person who hasn’t had a hearing test to determine any loss or other condition which might affect your hearing? Well, if you are this person, you have company!
An article on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s website titled “Untreated Hearing Loss in Adults – a Growing National Epidemic” by Anne L. Oyler, AuD, CCC-A (January 2012), cites some disturbing statistics for an aging American population. She states that “according to the ‘National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 36 million Americans have a hearing loss…’ Unfortunately, only 20% of those who might benefit from treatment actually seek help. Age related hearing loss or presbycusis is generally a slow, progressive hearing loss that affects both ears equally. Because of this slow progression, adults with presbycusis do not readily acknowledge their hearing loss, considering it a normal sign of aging.”
Imagine the frustration that family members and friends might experience knowing that a spouse or good friend has a hearing loss, but won’t seek help. Hearing loss does not have to be the invisible handicap nor a source of stigma. Hearing tests are both painless and free. Help is available as well as support for both the individual and his or her significant other. Don’t let your life, and the lives of your loved ones, be limited by untreated hearing loss.