7 Top reasons why people wait to get help for a hearing loss

More than 1.5 billion people around the world have a hearing loss. By 2050, more than 700 million people could have a disabling hearing loss (World Health Organisation). Even though it is prevalent health condition, research shows that people wait at least eight years before they get help if they do attend to the condition at all.

But why do we wait so long when we know that a hearing loss dramatically affects our quality of life? The Ear Institute explores the reasons why people tend to delay in getting help for hearing loss.

1. Denial

Many people with a hearing loss ignore, deny, or minimise the extent of their condition. They may believe that their hearing loss is not severe enough to warrant treatment, or they may feel that they can manage their condition without the use of hearing aids. However, untreated hearing loss can have significant negative consequences, including social isolation, depression, cognitive decline, dementia, and frequent falls.

2. Stigma

Wearing hearing aids is viewed as a sign of aging, disability, weakness, or decline. As a result, people are reluctant to get help as they may feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit that they have difficulty hearing.

3. Lack of awareness

Many people are not aware of the latest advancements in hearing aid technology, which leads to a lack of interest in getting hearing aids. People also do not necessarily know where to go to get a hearing test or where to find a qualified audiologist. The Ear Institute has branches all over South Africa and in Namibia. Our audiologists are highly qualified, do refresher courses every two years, and are trained to expertly fit the latest hearing aid technology.

4. Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions about hearing aids, including that they are uncomfortable, that they don’t work well, or that they are difficult to use. These misconceptions discourage people from seeking out hearing aids. It is essential that you first try them out before you make a snap judgment. At the Ear Institute, you get 30 days to try out the hearing aids.

5. Fear of technology

People might feel intimidated by the technology involved in hearing aids. Modern hearing aids are designed to be easy to use even though they are highly advanced.

6. Lack of knowledge

Hearing loss is often more than just struggling to hear. It has a ripple effect on your social life, general well-being, and health. For example, hearing loss can be an early sign of health conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. It is therefore vital that you attend to it sooner rather than later.

7. Cost

Hearing aids can be expensive, and many people can be deterred by the cost of treatment. Despite many medical aids in South Africa covering at least some of the cost, many people still find the out-of-pocket expenses prohibitively high. At the Ear Institute, we can help you make a plan.

“Our findings underscore the importance of education and awareness-raising efforts to encourage people to seek out the hearing aids they need. With the right information and support, people can make informed decisions about their hearing health and enjoy reconnecting with family, friends, and the sounds of life,” Melanie Coetzee, audiologist at the Ear Institute concludes.
hearing loss help

For more information about hearing and hearing health, call the Hearing Helpline on 0861 10 20 30 or make an appointment at your nearest branch.

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