In the United States, approximately 37.5 million adults have some amount of hearing loss. Yet according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), only 20 percent of those who could reap the benefits of hearing aids actually use them. That suggests that millions of Americans who could enhance their life with better hearing choose not to do so.
And that’s not all.
After being shown that they need hearing aids, people wait on average 5-7 years before actually purchasing them—which is too bad, because for those that do decide to wear hearing aids, the results are overwhelmingly positive.
Several studies have determined that wearing hearing aids improves relationships, enhances general physical and mental health, and even increases household income, as reported by the Better Hearing Institute.
Regrettably, 80 percent of those who could use hearing aids will never see these advantages. And of those who will, it’s a shame that they have to wait way too long.
The question is: if people are waiting 5-7 years before getting a hearing aid, what is finally swaying them to do so? And if we understood the reasons, would it inspire us to deal with our own hearing loss sooner?
With that in mind, we’ve collected the most common “triggers” that have inspired our patients to finally schedule a hearing test.
Here are the top five:
1. Not being able to hear the grandkids
Here’s one we’ve heard more than a couple of times.
The thing about high-frequency hearing loss is that the sounds most difficult to hear are commonly higher-pitched. That makes the female voice and the voices of children especially hard to understand.
For that reason, many people with hearing loss miss out on what their grandchildren are saying, or otherwise have to make them repeat themselves. Before too long, the grandkids begin avoiding the grandparents, and this offers a powerful incentive to book a hearing test.
2. Strained relationships
Communication is the basis of any healthy relationship, which is why hearing loss is so frustrating for both individuals.
If you have hearing loss, you might think everyone else mumbles, but your partner probably thinks you communicate too loudly or “selectively listen.” This brings about stress, and before you know it, you find yourself in more arguments than normal.
Regrettably, many people wait until their partner is at a breaking point of frustration before booking a hearing test. We’ve witnessed first-hand that lots of problems could have been prevented if hearing loss were resolved earlier.
3. Feeling left out
How confident and interactive can you really be if you can’t comprehend what others are saying?
Many people with hearing loss lose their confidence and sociability when it’s much easier to avoid the scenario than it is to struggle to hear and understand what’s being said. This leads many people down a path of solitude.
It’s this feeling of solitude—and missing out on social activities—that prompt people to pick up the phone and book a hearing exam. And there are not many activities that hearing loss doesn’t impact in a undesirable way.
4. Being unproductive at work
We’ve heard an abundance of stories of people that attain their breaking point at the office. Quite often they’re at an important meeting and can’t hear their colleagues sitting across the table. They either have to disrupt the meeting to get people to speak louder or repeat themselves, or otherwise have to stay silent because they can’t follow along.
There’s a reason why using hearing aids is correlated with higher household income in those with hearing loss. If you have better hearing, you’re simply more self-confident and efficient at work.
5. Concern about general health and well-being
Last but not least, people are becoming increasingly aware of the health hazards connected with hearing loss. While there are several conditions tied to diminished hearing, the most worrying relationship is that between hearing loss and dementia. According to Johns Hopkins University researchers, seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who maintain their hearing.
What’s your reason?
The bottom line is that many people wait too long to deal with their hearing loss, even though the majority of hearing aid users state that their lives have been enhanced with better hearing.
If you wear hearing aids, let us know the reason you made a decision to arrange your initial hearing test. Your response may result in helping someone in a similar circumstances to attain the benefits of better hearing sooner rather than later.