Common Reasons Patients Delay Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss, and Why You Shouldn’t Wait 

Treatments, Conditions & Care
February 12, 2024
Common Reasons Patients Delay Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss, and Why You Shouldn’t Wait 

Only a fraction of people who would benefit from hearing aids are currently using them. Not only does this affect their ability to hear, but it can cause other unintended health problems as well.

Reasons People with Hearing Loss Avoid Using Hearing Aids 

Stigma. Perhaps because hearing loss becomes more common as you age, some people are afraid using hearing aids will make them appear old or less capable. A stigma about wearing hearing aids seems to exist in a way that doesn’t exist in needing glasses, for example. A 2018 study among older individuals with age-related hearing loss found that using hearing devices had a significant influence on stigmatic experiences in terms of feeling old, shamed, and trying to conceal hearing aid use.

Feeling that hearing loss is inevitable. Conversely, some older adults have accepted hearing loss as an inevitability of getting older and feel as though it’s not worth the cost of treatment. The truth is that using hearing aids and other hearing devices can greatly improve your ability to understand speech and sound in a way that wouldn’t be possible if you left your condition untreated. 

Worried about appearance. Some people have an outdated idea of what modern hearing aids look like. They still picture them as large, bulky and extremely obvious. Today’s devices are much small and sleeker than older versions. Many of them are almost impossible to see, especially completely-in-the-canal models. 

Stressed about cost. While hearing aids aren’t cheap, they are a significant investment in your overall health. Your audiologist will work with you, and factor in your personal budget when helping to decide what model might be best for you. Additionally, some private insurance plans will offer partial or occasionally full coverage for a hearing device. Check with your provider to see what hearing health benefits you may have. 

The Importance of Using Hearing Aids 

Hearing aids help you stay connected to the world around you. Without them, people with hearing loss can struggle to follow conversations with their family and friends and may begin to socially isolate due to the stress of not hearing well.

People who use hearing aids experience a variety of benefits as opposed to those who leave their condition untreated, including: 

  • Improved mental health and decreased feelings of depression and anxiety 
  • Reduced risk of balance issues and injury from falls 
  • Lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia 
  • More confidence in social situations 
  • Better relationships with others 

To learn more about treating your hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, visit the TriHealth Audiology page here.

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