On average, people tend to wait five to seven years between first experiencing hearing loss symptoms and actually seeking help. But research shows there are good reasons to begin hearing loss treatment sooner rather than later.
• Early intervention prevents your brain from forgetting what to do. Over time, reduced stimulation to your ears and brain can actually impair the brain's ability to process sound and recognize speech. Once speech recognition deteriorates, it is only partially recoverable when hearing aids are in place.
• Early intervention also slows cognitive decline and communication problems. When you can't hear what's going on around you, your mental sharpness and communication abilities suffer.
• Finally, early intervention improves the use of hearing aids themselves. The earlier people begin to use hearing aids, the more comfortable they are with them, and the easier it is to learn to use them to greatest advantage. If your world has been mostly silent, it can take longer to adapt to once again hearing all the little environmental sounds like fans, airplanes and footsteps.
Dr. Daria B. Stakiw is a doctor of audiology and owner of Rocky Mountain Audiology in Edwards. Call 970-926-6660 to schedule an appointment or with any questions.