This month’s blog is going to be a little different! I have broken down some of the most common statements that individuals with untreated hearing loss report. Often, when someone is suffering from untreated hearing loss, they state that they don’t know if the problem is due to hearing loss, their spouses’ voices, or their environment. There are three statements I hear from patients most often, and if they sounds familiar, it may be time to schedule a hearing test.

Statement 1: Eventually, I got tired of asking and just smiled politely.

I think we have all experienced this once or twice. The background noise in the restaurant is so overpowering that it’s hard to concentrate on the words being spoken. After asking to repeat once, then twice, it’s common for some people to give up on the conversation and just smile politely. This patient knew that they needed help because it wasn’t only happening in restaurants, it was also happening at home, in grocery stores, and at work in quiet settings. 

When situations like this occur, those with hearing loss will stop participating in conversations due to the level of difficulty and frustration. It is not uncommon for individuals to blame the other person for mumbling or talking too quietly. 

Statement 2: It’s frustrating because I have to continuously ask her what she’s saying. So, I eventually just stop doing it and I just guess, which usually results in embarrassment or an argument.

Untreated hearing loss may result in embarrassment? Yes, you read that right! In an effort to continue the natural flow of the conversation many of my patients have confessed to me that they guessed what the other person was telling them, just so they didn’t have to ask for clarification. For example, “It’s windy today” may sound a lot like “It’s Wednesday today.”

It is not uncommon for patients with untreated hearing loss to also report that they constantly bicker with their loved ones because they thought they heard one thing but really their family was trying to tell them something else. This is one example how anxiety, depression, and social isolation can start to creep into the lives of those suffering from untreated hearing loss.

Statement 3: Eventually we just stopped going. It’s not interesting anymore. I don’t enjoy it.

This one, personally, is hard for me to hear. I’ve had patients who quit attending things like bible study or choir rehearsal because they found it more frustrating than enjoyable due to their untreated hearing loss. Missing out on important social opportunities can be incredibly isolating, and I find it personally gratifying to be a part of reconnecting my patients to the activities that help them thrive.

Why Do People Wait So Long?

You may ask yourself, why do people wait so long to get treated or even tested for hearing loss? The reality is, the gradual nature of a decline in hearing often goes unnoticed until a loved one or friends notice the difficulty in communication untreated hearing loss is causing. The most common type of hearing loss is in higher frequencies, where lower frequencies remain within the normal range. So, for most people, if their low frequencies sound normal they will pass the blame to others or the environment they are in.

An audiology "speech banana" indicating common sounds and their decibel/frequency range.

“The speech banana:” frequencies of common sounds found in conversation.

It’s Time For a Hearing Evaluation

If any of these statements sound similar, please contact us for more information and to schedule an appointment. The first step is to have a routine hearing evaluation, where we can gather information about your situation and provide you with options for addressing your potential hearing loss and get you reconnected to your world and the important people in it. We pride ourselves on counseling our patients regarding their hearing evaluation in a way that is easy to understand in a pressure-free environment. You won’t wait months for an appointment, either. Let us help!

Hearing care and connection for a lifetime.