Early Treatment of Hearing Loss
Most people wait an average of 5-7 years to pursue hearing aids. Hearing loss usually occurs gradually, so most people do not notice many difficulties at first. In fact, friends and loved ones tend to be among the first to notice a hearing loss.
Some people are concerned that they will look older because they are wearing hearing aids. There are many different style options currently available, and most are designed to be discreet as possible. People may not even notice that you are wearing a hearing aid! Asking for constant repetition or clarification, or even misunderstanding conversations are more noticeable signs of a hearing loss than wearing a pair of hearing aids.
Often times, the earlier that a patient is fit with amplification after hearing loss is diagnosed, the more successful the patient is with the hearing aid. Decreased stimulation of the auditory nerve over time affects the way we recognize and process sounds, especially speech. As our ability to understand speech declines, it may affect how well we are able to understand, even with the use of amplification.
Early treatment of hearing loss may also help prevent loss of cognitive functions, since decreased hearing can require the brain to expend more energy on processing sound than on other tasks. Hearing aids will improve communication for both the person wearing them as well as loved ones. Being fit with hearing aids earlier also decreases the likelihood of isolation or depression.