The thing about hearing loss is that it’s easy to ignore. You can deny it for many years, compensating for substandard hearing by turning up the volume on your phone or TV and forcing people to repeat themselves.
But together with the tension this places on relationships, there are additional, hidden effects of untreated hearing loss that are not as apparent but more concerning.
Below are six possible consequences of untreated hearing loss.
1. Missing out
Hearing loss can cause you to miss out on crucial conversations and familiar sounds like birds chirping or the sound of rain on the rooftop. Ordinary household sounds continuously fade as your personal 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 sociable when compared with people who used hearing aids.
Hearing loss can result in impaired relationships, stress and anxiety, social isolation, and ultimately depression. Hearing loss can be upsetting and embarrassing and can have significant emotional effects.
3. Cognitive decline
Hearing loss can impact your thinking and memory. Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered that those with hearing loss suffered 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 showed drastic impairment in cognitive skill 3.2 years sooner than those with normal hearing.
4. Listening fatigue
Listening requires effort, and when you fight to hear certain words or have to constantly fill in the blanks, the extra hassle is exhausting. Individuals with hearing loss describe higher levels of fatigue at the end of the day, especially following lengthy conferences or group activities.
5. Diminished work performance
The Better Hearing Institute found that, based on 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 monetary impact was directly connected to the intensity of hearing loss.
The findings make good sense. Hearing loss can result in communication issues and mistakes on the job, limiting productiveness, promotions, and in some instances taking people out of the marketplace.
6. Safety considerations
People with hearing loss can fail to hear alarm systems, sirens, or other signals to potentially hazardous situations. 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 more serious.
The reality is hearing loss is not just a trivial annoyance—it has a number of physical, mental, and social effects that can dramatically reduce an individual’s overall quality of life. But the good news is that it’s almost all avoidable.
All of the consequences we just reviewed are the result of decreased sound stimulation to the brain. Modern hearing aids, while not able to restore hearing completely to normal, nevertheless can furnish the amplification necessary to avoid most or all of these consequences.
That’s why the majority of patients are content with their hearing aid’s performance. It allows them to effortlessly understand speech, hear without continuously struggling, and enjoy the sounds they’ve been missing for many years.
Don’t risk the consequences—test out the new technology and see for yourself how your life can improve.