If your husband suffers from hearing loss, rest assured he's not alone. But if you're having a hard time convincing him that he may be a candidate for hearing aids, you're not alone, either. An estimated 40 million - or more - people in the United States suffer from hearing loss, but only one in five who would benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one.
Related Blog: Senior Hearing Loss: 10 Myths About Hearing Loss
There are a lot of reasons your husband may be reluctant to wear hearings aids, from denial ("My hearing is fine."), to vanity, to a lack of proper knowledge about hearing loss. Indeed, educating yourself about hearing loss is a great place to start when it comes to convincing your husband he could benefit from hearing aids.
Hearing Loss & Dementia
Recent research at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute on Aging showed a definite link between hearing loss and dementia. People who have even mild hearing loss had twice the risk of suffering dementia as those who don't, while those with severe hearing loss were at five times a greater risk. Although it has not yet been established that hearing loss causes a decline in mental capacity, research like this provides a clear reason why your husband should consider hearing aids.
Hearing Loss & Other Serious Issues
Progressive, slow hearing loss in one ear, for example, should provide a definite reason for your husband to see an ear specialist and consider hearing aids. While it may indicate something treatable such as wax buildup or a hole in the eardrum, more serious issues such as tumors can also cause gradual deafness.
Hearing Loss & Falls
Research has also linked hearing loss to unexpected, potentially dangerous, falls. Balance is a complicated process involving many parts of the body, with one of the most important parts being the inner ear. If there is a problem with the ear, such as Meniere's disease, balance and hearing can be affected. Moreover, a person who becomes mentally fatigued by concentrating on speech in their everyday lives is at a greater risk for falls - and a great candidate for hearing aids.