Two patients came into my office within two days of one another. One, a young man in his 30s, had experienced a diving accident six years prior. It had left him with a torn left eardrum and very lopsided hearing—but a simple surgery could have fixed both. So what was the problem? His decision to wait six years before seeking help.

Our understanding of speech isn’t just a function of our ears—it also involves our brain. That means that when we stop hearing sounds, the part of our brain that figures out what those sounds mean stops working as well. We gradually lose the ability to understand language. And we don’t always get it back.

My second patient was fitted with a hearing aid one day after I saw the diver. He came to my office very upset about a hearing aid dispenser who had
misdiagnosed him. As it turned out, this wonderful man had a congenital, potentially medically correctable hearing loss in his left ear—the same ear as
the diver.

As I tested further (he had been wearing a hearing aid on and off for years), I discovered that the man had no understanding of speech in his left ear. The
hearing aids he had been inaccurately prescribed had done nothing to help him, and we later confirmed, after several surgeries, that nothing more could be
done with his ear. He had waited too long to seek a proper diagnosis.

I’m sharing these stories with you today because I want to emphasize the importance of treating your hearing loss early. It’s easy to put off seeking treatment, or to tell yourself you can manage, but there is definitely a “too late” when it comes to your ears.

If you haven’t yet had a hearing screening, please come by this month. I’ll be happy to waive your appointment fee if you mention this blog post.

Looking forward to seeing you and helping you hear better!