While 2.74 million Americans have mild to moderate hearing loss1 80% choose not to seek a solution2.
Studies show that it is an average of 10 years before some people may even take action3 to do something about their hearing loss. However, no one should have to miss out on those chance-in-a-lifetime moments because of a hearing challenge.
Don't let the stigma of finding a solution hold you back.
Imagine being told in your 40s that you're experience significant hearing loss? That’s how Jill Quick began her journey. When her hearing care professional suggested hearing aids, she resisted. “I’m not afraid; but I don't want it to affect my active life", Jill admitted at the time.
According to Jill, when people imagine hearing aids, they think about something their grandparents used to wear: a bulky device that had to be adjusted with screwdriver and screws. “Once I got acquainted to how technology has changed the hearing aid industry, I was blown away. It’s changing in such a positive way for people who have hearing loss."
Jill shared she wished she hadn’t been “on the fence” in the beginning about wearing hearing aids. “Life is too short not to hear things,” she said. “Once you can hear, you can start to become ‘you’ again.”
Pete Martinez denied his hearing loss for the longest time, even though his friends and family encouraged him to get his hearing tested. As a music teacher, he assumed his students were mumbling and that other people were not speaking up -- that’s why he couldn’t hear them. “It became increasingly hard to be effective in the classroom and affected my engagement with students."
At the same time, Pete's love of theatre musicals and concerts was being affected too. At one particular show, he couldn’t hear the dialog as well as he used to. “It was awful,” he said. “My hearing loss started downgrading my life, and I felt like it was not like what it used to be.”
When he decided it was time for hearing aids, everything changed. “It was like all of a sudden more colors came up into my vision,” said Pete. “I didn’t realize how much hearing loss isolated me until I actually did something about it. I realized how much I missed."
Laury Hallgren put off getting hearing aids for years. Besides not wanting to wear something on her ears, she also didn’t want to spend the money.
Not investing in her hearing meant she couldn’t invest in strengthening relationships with colleagues, friends and loved ones. “I couldn’t hear people talk and I really wanted to hear people talk. I wanted that connection and I missed it,” Laury added. “So, it was worth the financial investment.”
Having hearing aids has made socializing so much easier for Laury. "My whole outlook on life expanded," she shared. "I'm trying new activities and putting myself out there to meet new people more now than I have been in years. It's fun to do different activities. Having the hearing aids has been a great experience and I would suggest it."
Arlene Halpenny always had an active social life – traveling, cooking, working and going out with friends. But when her hearing started to decline, Arlene began to pull back.
"I got to the point where I would just say, 'Oh, I'm busy,' or, 'I can't make it,' because I didn't want to be put in a situation where I couldn't hear, so I wasn't enjoying anything," Arlene lamented. "People with hearing loss know you can't converse with people, so why would you go? You appear to be non-intelligent, you make odd statements, or you repeat what someone just said, it can be an embarrassing situation."
Since she’s been fit with hearing aids, Arlene is able to reclaim her social life. “I say yes to everything. It's changed everything I do and it doesn't prohibit me from participating in anything in life. My hearing aids have given me my life back."
Hearing loss is more common than you think, but don’t let the stigmas of finding a solution hold you back. There are options available. So, if you find yourself missing the everyday moments, you’re probably missing the special moments, too. You’re worth enjoying life to its fullest!
1. Prevalence of Hearing Loss by Severity in the United States; Adele M Goman, Frank R Lin. American Journal of Public Health, 2016.
2. Untreated Hearing Loss in Adults—A Growing National Epidemic. Anne L. Oyler, AuD, CCC-A. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 2012
3. MarkeTrak 10: Hearing aids in an era of disruption and DTC/OTC devices; Powers TA, Rogin CM. Hearing Review. 2019;26(8):12-20.
4. Addressing Estimated Hearing Loss in Adults in 2060. Adele M. Goman, PhD1,2; Nicholas S. Reed, AuD1,2; Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD1,2,3. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017;143(7):733-734