According to numerous studies, it can take between seven and 10 years for people to seek help for their hearing loss. What’s more, it has been suggested that up to 85% of people who have hearing loss are not currently being treated. 

There are many possible reasons for the above statistics, but in some cases, it may be that people are simply unsure when they should seek treatment for hearing loss. After all, hearing loss is simply a part of aging, so some people may simply think the condition is just expected and standard; just one of those things that happens in life, rather than a health condition that requires treatment and management. 

Hearing loss may be part of the aging process, but this fact does not mean that the condition does not require treatment, or that it can simply be lived with. 

There are significant impacts that living with untreated hearing loss can have on a person’s life.  People with untreated hearing loss are more liable to experience trips and falls; are more likely to develop conditions such as dementia, depression, anxiety and can experience issues with social isolation. In addition, untreated hearing loss can cause financial issues too – both in terms of expected income as well as higher health costs. 

While it is true that the above risks are more significant depending on the degree of hearing loss a person is experiencing, it should be noted that these risks apply to all levels of hearing loss.

When should you seek help for hearing loss?

The above information is not designed to be alarmist or cause unnecessary worry; it is simply designed to underscore an important point: the time to seek help for hearing loss in one or both ears is as soon as you become aware that you may have hearing loss.

You may, notice that you have hearing loss suddenly – often over the course of just a few hours.  When hearing loss develops this quickly, it should be a medical emergency that requires urgent intervention, so contact an audiologist for further advice as soon as possible. 

Most cases of hearing loss, however, do not appear suddenly; instead, hearing loss develops gradually over several years. You may notice that the speech of others appears to be muffled, or that you frequently need to turn the volume up when watching TV or listening to music. You may also become more socially withdrawn, or experience headaches and tiredness after conversing with others. If you notice any of these symptoms or have any other reason to suspect you may be experiencing hearing loss, contact an audiologist for further advice.

Hearing loss is not a condition that should be overlooked, nor is it something that anyone just needs to live with. Under the guidance of an expert audiologist, treatment is incredibly effective, so always seek help as soon as hearing loss makes itself known to you.