The thing about hearing loss is that it’s easy to overlook. You can deny it for years, compensating for poor hearing by turning up the volume on your phone or TV and requiring people to repeat themselves.
But on top of the tension this places on personal relationships, there are additional, hidden consequences of untreated hearing loss that are not as apparent 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 individuals with untreated hearing loss age 50 and older were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less social when compared with those who used hearing aids.
Hearing loss can create impaired relationships, stress and anxiety, social isolation, and ultimately depression. Hearing loss can be stressful and embarrassing and can have significant psychological effects.
3. Cognitive decline
Hearing loss can affect your thinking and memory. Johns Hopkins Medicine found that those with hearing loss experienced rates of cognitive decline 30-40 percent faster than people with normal hearing.
The rate of decline varies according to the degree of hearing loss, but on average, those with hearing loss developed significant impairment in cognitive ability 3.2 years faster than those with normal hearing.
4. Mental exhaustion
Listening requires energy, and when you fight to hear certain words or have to constantly fill in the blanks, the additional hassle is tiring. Those with hearing loss describe higher levels of fatigue at the end of the day, especially after long conferences or group activities.
5. Reduced work performance
The Better Hearing Institute found that, according to a survey of more than 40,000 households, hearing loss adversely impacted annual household income by an average of as much as $12,000. The financial impact was directly related to the level of hearing loss.
The results make good sense. Hearing loss can bring on communication issues and mistakes on the job, limiting productiveness, promotions, and in some instances taking people out of the marketplace.
6. Safety concerns
People with hearing loss can fail to hear alarm systems, sirens, or other signals to potentially dangerous 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 nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling and the chance of falling increased as hearing loss became worse.
The truth is hearing loss is not just a trivial inconvenience—it has a number of physical, mental, and social consequences that can considerably decrease an individual’s all-around quality of life. But the good news is that it’s almost all preventable.
Most of the consequences we just reviewed are the result of reduced sound stimulation to the brain. Modern day hearing aids, while not able to restore hearing entirely to normal, nevertheless can furnish the amplification necessary to avert most or all of these consequences.
That’s why most patients are satisfied with their hearing aid’s overall performance. It permits them to easily understand speech, hear without continuously struggling, and take pleasure in the sounds they’ve been missing for many years.
Don’t risk the consequences—test the new technology and see for yourself how your life can improve.