The thing about hearing loss is that it’s easy to brush off. You can deny it for many years, compensating for substandard hearing by turning up the volume on your phone or TV and pressuring people to repeat themselves.
But on top of the strain this places on relationships, there are additional, concealed consequences of untreated hearing loss that are not as obvious but more concerning.
Listed below are six possible consequences of untreated hearing loss.
1. Missing out
Hearing loss can cause you to lose out on crucial conversations and common sounds like birds chirping or the sound of rain on the rooftop. Ordinary household sounds continuously fade as your private world of sound narrows.
2. Anxiety and depression
A study by the National Council on the Aging discovered that people with untreated hearing loss age 50 and older were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less sociable in comparison to people who wore hearing aids.
Hearing loss can bring about damaged relationships, stress and anxiety, social isolation, and ultimately depression. Hearing loss can be upsetting and embarrassing and can have significant emotional effects.
3. Intellectual decline
Hearing loss can affect your thinking and memory. Johns Hopkins Medicine found that those with hearing loss encountered rates of cognitive decline 30-40 percent faster than individuals with normal hearing.
The rate of decline depends upon the intensity of hearing loss, but on average, those with hearing loss showed drastic impairment in cognitive skill 3.2 years sooner than those with normal hearing.
4. Mental exhaustion
Listening requires energy, and when you fight to hear certain words or have to habitually fill in the blanks, the extra hassle is tiring. Those with hearing loss describe greater levels of fatigue at the end of the day, especially following long conferences or group activities.
5. Diminished work performance
The Better Hearing Institute discovered that, based on a survey of more than 40,000 households, hearing loss adversely affected annual household income by an average of as much as $12,000. The economic impact was directly related to the amount of hearing loss.
The results make sense. Hearing loss can result in communication issues and mistakes on the job, limiting productivity, promotions, and in some cases taking people out of the marketplace.
6. Safety considerations
Those with hearing loss can fail to hear alarms, sirens, or other signals to potentially unsafe conditions. They’re also more likely to have a history of falling.
According to a study from Johns Hopkins University, hearing loss has been associated with an increased risk of falling. Those with mild hearing loss were just about three times more likely to have a history of falling and the chance of falling increased as hearing loss became more serious.
The reality is hearing loss is not just a minimal inconvenience—it has a host of physical, mental, and social consequences that can radically decrease an individual’s all-around quality of life. But the good news is that it’s almost all preventable.
All of the consequences we just reviewed are the outcome of diminished sound stimulation to the brain. Modern day hearing aids, while not able to restore hearing entirely to normal, nonetheless can furnish the amplification necessary to avert most or all of these consequences.
That’s why most patients are content with their hearing aid’s overall performance. It permits them to easily understand speech, hear without continuously struggling, and appreciate the sounds they’ve been missing for many years.
Don’t risk the consequences—test drive the new technology and discover for yourself how your life can improve.