What is an Unperceived Hearing Loss?

According to a study by Statistics Canada, more than 50% of Canadians over 40 years old have hearing loss, however most of them are not aware of it. That means 6.3 million Canadians have unperceived hearing loss.

Unperceived hearing loss occurs when a person believes they are hearing well, but a hearing test detects hearing loss.

Why do so many people have unperceived hearing loss?

  • Hearing loss usually takes place gradually, giving the person time to adapt. Some of the most common adaptations are moving closer to the person speaking, reading lips and turning up the volume on their TV or headphones.
  • Denial and stigma could also cause someone to ignore the signs of hearing loss, particularly because hearing loss is often associated with aging and is seen as negative by most people.
  • Hearing loss may also be unexpected. Even though hearing loss is associated with aging and less than optimal health, it can also occur in younger people who are in good health.

What are the possible consequences of hearing loss?

  • Social isolation
  • Fatigue, anxiety and depression
  • Lower quality of life
  • Dementia and cognitive decline
  • And more…

Detecting and treating hearing loss early on is essential to limiting the impacts on the person and their loved ones.

A hearing test is recommended for everyone over 50 and anyone who has concerns about their hearing.

 

If you have questions about your hearing or that of a loved one, our hearing health professionals will be happy to answer them.

BY Megan Poirier, Audiologist, Polyclinique de l’Oreille

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