About Hearing Loss
Hearing Loss and Consequences
Untreated hearing loss or delayed treatment of hearing loss can have major negative effects on people’s lives.
People with hearing loss have trouble fully participating in everyday life. They may mistake words in a conversation, miss directions or warnings, or leave a ringing doorbell unanswered. Older people who can't hear well may become depressed or withdraw from others to avoid feeling frustrated or embarrassed about not understanding what is being said. They may become suspicious of relatives or friends who they believe "mumble" or "don't speak up" on purpose. Hearing loss can cause older people to become more isolated and can even put them in harm's way if they are unable to respond to warnings or hear sounds of impending danger.
Sometimes older people are mistakenly thought to be confused, unresponsive, or uncooperative just because they don't hear well.
Many people are aware that their hearing has deteriorated but are reluctant to seek help. Perhaps they don’t want to acknowledge the problem, are embarrassed by what they see as a weakness, or believe that they can “get by” without using a hearing aid. And, unfortunately, too many wait years, even decades, before getting treatment.
But time and again, research demonstrates the considerable negative social, psychological, cognitive and health effects of untreated hearing loss . . . with far-reaching implications that go well beyond hearing alone. In fact, those who have difficulty hearing can experience such distorted and incomplete communication that it seriously impacts their professional and personal lives, at times leading to isolation and withdrawal.
Many people think hearing aids will make them look older and less attractive. But they have an out-dated view of what modern hearing aids look like. Some are nearly invisible and fit in the ear canal or are very inconspicuous. Some can even be flaunted – manufacturers have begun to come up with hearing aids that are veritable fashion statements, in different colors and sleek designs. There is just no excuse to permit an obsolete stigma to stop you from treating your hearing problem.
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI), a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1973 has been educating the public about the neglected problem of hearing loss and what can be done about it. They are working to:
- Erase the stigma and end the embarrassment that prevents millions of people from seeking help for hearing loss.
- Show the negative consequences of untreated hearing loss for millions of Americans.
- Promote treatment and demonstrate that this is a national problem that can be solved.
The Better Hearing Institute has kindly given us permission to share with you several articles written by their executive director, Sergei Kochkin. We think you will find them informative and beneficial. Please click the links below if you wish to read them.
Deidre Downs (Miss America 2005) is on a mission to encourage the millions of Americans with untreated hearing loss to take the first step and get their hearing checked. She's joined with the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) as a national spokesperson to promote healthy hearing.
She offers seven reasons everyone should get their hearing checked. Click the link below to read them.
You may find it interesting to read this list of Celebrities who have benefited from hearing aids and worked with the Better Hearing Institute to promote and encourage treatment of hearing loss and the use of hearing aids.