A recent Statistics Canada report estimates that 54% of Canadians aged 40 to 79, roughly 8.2 million, have at least mild hearing loss, with 77% of those unaware they have hearing issues.
“People don’t get tested because they don’t think they’re having an issue. They tend to blame it on external circumstances, such as people just mumbling, and they don’t believe they’re having a problem,” HearingLife audiologist Katie Koebel says.
“Sometimes the fear of finding out there is an issue. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and they’re afraid to know what the outcome might be. But it’s nothing to be afraid of. Knowledge is power.”
Local hearing health centre HearingLife recommends that everyone over the age of 60 make it a priority to get an annual baseline hearing test.
“Hearing loss is very gradual in most cases. It’s not often you wake up and your hearing is gone,” Koebel says.
“People don’t realize things are slowly starting to get quieter or sounds are missing. It’s often the people around that notice the hearing loss first.”
HearingLife provides free in-clinic hearing assessments.
“If your hearing changes in the future, you will have something to compare it to,” Koebel says.
“We’ll do a full audiological exam and have it on file so we can compare it to future hearing tests to see if there has been a change or not.”
HearingLife is also a participant in The National Campaign for Better Hearing’s Give Back Program, which helps to provide those in need with new hearing aids. For every hearing test completed at HearingLife, the organization will donate $4 to the program.
Untreated hearing loss could have significant negative health consequences, including social seclusion, depression, and cognitive deterioration. It can also heighten the chances of accidents and falls due to a lack of awareness of environmental sounds.
Not only does neglecting to address hearing loss not only hamper daily functioning, it can increase someone’s risk of developing dementia.
Fortunately, HearingLife makes it easy to love your ears and get the hearing help you need.
“If a hearing loss is identified, the hearing professional you see will go through treatment options. If we start to see beginning signs of hearing loss, we’ll recommend assistive hearing items, communication strategies to increase ability for you to hear, and we may recommend hearing aids as treatment,” Koebel says.
“If we do find that you would benefit from hearing aids, we would do a demonstration right in the clinic and set you up with hearing aids you can take home for 30 days to find out how they sound in your real life.”
HearingLife’s risk-free 30 day trial for hearing aids period means clients can see for themselves how hearing aids will positively impact their lives.
“There are so many risks to having untreated hearing loss. The sooner you treat hearing loss, the better you will do long term and reduce the risk of things that happen with untreated hearing loss such as cognitive decline, depression and isolation,” Koebel says.
To find a hearing centre near you and book a free hearing test today, visit www.hearinglife.ca