Importance of Early Hearing Treatment

The importance of early hearing treatment is usually an afterthought until it is too late. Most people tend to delay treatment of their hearing loss until they cannot communicate. This happens even in the best of listening situations. On average, hearing aid users wait over 10 years after their initial diagnosis to be fit with their first set of hearing aids.

Several studies have documented the impact of untreated hearing loss. An often cited survey was commissioned by the National Council on Aging in 1999. This nationwide survey of nearly 4,000 adults with hearing loss and their significant others showed significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other psycho-social disorders. This is in individuals who were not wearing hearing aids. This survey looked at the positive benefits of amplification. It additionally showed that hearing aid use positively affected quality of life for both the hearing aid wearer and his or her significant others.

Delaying treatment can also make it harder for the brain to customize to hearing again. The brain can get overwhelmed with being exposed to all the sounds it was missing out on. Starting treatment for hearing loss when a hearing loss is first noticed will give the brain time to adjust.

Early and careful evaluation and treatment show great promise in mitigating the consequences of hearing loss on long-term health and quality of life.

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