Scared of Hearing Loss?

According to the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, the average person will wait 7-10 years before seeking treatment for hearing loss. Why are people so scared of hearing loss? An article in the New York Times dated April 2012 tells us it is due to many reasons: vanity, seen as a sign of weakness, a sign of old age, too expensive, don’t know where to start, denial, etc.

Of the 26.7 million people over age 50 with a hearing impairment, only one in seven, a meager 14 percent, use a hearing aid, said Dr. Frank Lin, assistant professor of otolaryngology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. “If you think you have a hearing loss, you probably do,” he said.

Waiting to seek treatment doesn’t make the problems go away. In August 2008, the AARP reported on research linking hearing loss to memory issues. "The general perception is that hearing loss is a relatively inconsequential part of aging," says Frank Lin, M.D. But recent findings, he says, suggest that it may play a much more important role in brain health than we've previously thought. Lin is the author of several recent studies pointing to a link between hearing loss and cognitive problems ranging from mild impairment all the way to dementia.

Fortunately, there's an upside. If this connection — shown in several recent and well-regarded studies — holds up, it raises the possibility that treating hearing loss more aggressively could help stave off cognitive decline and dementia.

The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation by a doctor of audiology. Audiologists specialize in diagnosing hearing problems and the non-medical treatment of hearing loss. Treatment options include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, counseling and education in listening skills.

You should schedule an appointment with Dr. Ybarra if you suffer from any of the following symptoms:

  •  Difficulty hearing or understanding
  • Dizziness
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing or buzzing noise in the ears

At Hearing Associates we understand that taking that first step can be scary. We have the expertise to properly diagnose your hearing loss and will take the time you need to review all your possible options. Our specialty is finding the right solution for YOU.