Hearing Loss is More Common Than You May Think
Disabling hearing loss is among the most common health issues in the world today. Though less than three out of every 1,000 babies in the US are born with congenital hearing loss, studies estimate that up to 48 million Americans live with it. That’s over 13% of the population over 18 years of age. The likelihood of suffering from it increases with age and by the time someone is 65 years old they have a 26.8% chance of being personally affected and that ratio rises to over half of the population by the time someone is 75 years old or older.
In the vast majority of cases, hearing loss is the result of damage to the delicate workings of your inner ear, the infinitesimal hairs that register sound-waves like antennae or the ear drum that these hairs vibrate against to send the waves to the brain for decoding. Simple degeneration, illness, side effects from medications and innumerable environmental causes and bad habits can cause it. and more often than not, it creep up slowly.
Untreated hearing damage can unravel into all sorts of serious personal, professional, health and even psychological problems. Given the statistics and the potential consequences you might expect that hearing aids would be as common as eyeglasses. Yet sadly, studies estimate that over 2/3 of people that live with hearing loss do so without seeking treatment.
How Common are Hearing Aids?
Studies reveal that among people who do wear hearing aids, these people have put off doing so for an average of seven years after they first suspected that their hearing might be an issue. Stereotypes about hearing aids are dated, so this may explain this delay. According to the old stereotypes, wearing a hearing aid means you have gotten old, and no one wants to admit to that. Of course this stigma is ridiculous. Wearing a hearing aid brings the world back to life with vivid detail and of course vanity should not be enough of a reason to miss out on that. But more than that, it’s just not true. Most hearing aids are about 1.5 cm long and sit behind your ear inconspicuously. It is unlikely anyone will even notice. Almost 30 million Americans wear one daily and 83% of these people report “high satisfaction” with their choice to do so.
Why Do Hearing Aids Eventually Fail?
Same as any machine, hearing aids will eventually malfunction, their power will diminish and one day they just will not work. But the average lifespan of a hearing aid is three to seven years, a significant amount of time for such a delicate device. and depending on the user’s habits and upkeep they may last even longer. It is a safe rule of thumb to plan on your hearing aids requiring replacement every five years. People likely use their hearing aids almost every waking hour, every day. This is a lot of everyday wear and tear, however carefully you maintain and clean them.
Beyond this there are a number of factors unique to hearing aids to consider as well. Moisture often builds up in them over time and this of course risks damaging the delicate circuitry within them. If you do not pay attention to it, earwax is likely to build up in your ear. and this buildup lessened the hearing aid’s effectiveness, potentially causing distortion and a reduction in volume. You can mitigate this risk by being sure to keep both your ears and your hearing aids spic and span. Audiologists usually provide a specialized kit to help with this.
And hearing aid technology continues to advance all the time. Old hearing aids become obsolete and when they do, servicing for the old models becomes difficult and people have no choice but to upgrade. This is a good thing considering how subtle and individualized the latest improvements have gotten.
Hearing aids are an investment. But our specialists will help you find the exact model and treatments to fit your needs and your budget. and this investment is nothing compared to the costs—financial, physical, emotional, and mental—of not taking action. Make an appointment with one of our specialists today either to start your new course or to be sure that you are doing as best as you can to stay on course toward a richer and more fulfilling quality of life.