Thoughtful senior man standing at the beach

You know you’re having problems hearing and you know you probably need a hearing aid.  What you really want to know is, “How long can you wait to get a hearing aid?”  We all have issues that we’d rather avoid, for example we put off going to the dentist or to the doctor unless we’re in pain.  You’d probably get to a hearing healthcare provider more quickly if a hearing loss caused pain, but that’s not typically the first sign of a hearing loss.

When you first begin to experience trouble hearing it’s quite possible, even understandable that you aren’t really sure if you’re having a problem hearing.  Maybe your wife is really mumbling one or two times, or maybe other people at the restaurant are having a hard time hearing too.  Many sounds are outside the range of “normal hearing”, below 20Hz and above 20KHz.  This explains why a dog can respond to a dog whistle but a human is unable to “hear” the whistle, The frequency of most dog whistles is within the range of 23 to 54 kHz.

But, if you’re reading this article chances are you know that you need a hearing aid.  What you’re trying to determine is whether or not you can you put it off just a little bit longer.  Here are 3 reasons why that’s not a good idea.


Your brains ability to process auditory information will change the longer it is deprived of sound.  For example, it will become less able to separate what you want to hear from what you don’t want to hear.  A complaint of some hearing aid users is that they have a problem understanding speech in the presence of a lot of competing noise.  The less time that occurs between the onset of your hearing loss and the day you start to use hearing aids, the less likely it is that you will experience that type of a problem.


According to Johns Hopkins University, individuals with hearing loss are at a three-fold increased risk of falling.   Lead researcher on the study, Frank Lin, an otologist and epidemiologist, says “among the possible explanations for the link is that people who can’t hear well might not have good awareness of their overall environment, making tripping and falling more likely”.


A study by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging researchers suggests that Individuals with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing

“Although the reason for the link between the two conditions is unknown, the investigators suggest that a common pathology may underlie both or that the strain of decoding sounds over the years may overwhelm the brains of people with hearing loss, leaving them more vulnerable to dementia. They also speculate that hearing loss could lead to dementia by making individuals more socially isolated, a known risk factor for dementia and other cognitive disorders.”

A better question to ask yourself might be, if you knew you could’ve prevented or lessened the impact of any of the above would you have done something about your hearing loss sooner?