The thing about hearing loss is that it’s easy to just ignore. You can deny it for years, compensating for poor hearing by turning up the volume on your TV or phone and forcing people to repeat themselves.
But in combination with the stress this places on relationships, there are additional, hidden effects of untreated hearing loss that are not as obvious but more concerning.
Here are six potential consequences of untreated hearing loss.
1. Missing out
Hearing loss can cause you to lose out on essential conversations and common 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 revealed that people with untreated hearing loss age 50 and older were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less social compared to those who used hearing aids.
Hearing loss can contribute to damaged relationships, anxiety, social isolation, and ultimately depression. Hearing loss can be upsetting and embarrassing and can have considerable emotional effects.
3. Cognitive 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 those with normal hearing.
The rate of decline varies according to the seriousness of hearing loss, but on average, those with hearing loss developed significant impairment in cognitive skill 3.2 years faster than those with normal hearing.
4. Listening fatigue
Listening requires energy, and when you struggle to hear certain words or have to continually fill in the blanks, the extra hassle is tiring. Those with hearing loss report greater levels of fatigue at the days end, particularly following extended meetings or group activities.
5. Reduced work performance
The Better Hearing Institute discovered that, based on a survey of more than 40,000 households, hearing loss adversely affected yearly household income by an average of as much as $12,000. The monetary impact was directly connected to the intensity of hearing loss.
The results make good sense. Hearing loss can cause communication problems 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 alarms, sirens, or other alerts to potentially hazardous circumstances. They’re also more likely to experience falls.
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 truth is hearing loss is not just a modest annoyance—it has a host of physical, mental, and social consequences that can considerably reduce an individual’s all-around quality of life. But the good news is that it’s virtually all preventable.
All of the consequences we just discussed are the outcome of depleted sound stimulation to the brain. Contemporary hearing aids, while not able to restore hearing completely to normal, nonetheless can deliver the amplification necessary to prevent most or all of these consequences.
That’s why the majority of clients are content with their hearing aid’s performance. It enables them to effortlessly understand speech, hear without continuously struggling, and appreciate the sounds they’ve been missing for many years.
Don’t risk the consequences—try out the new technology and see for yourself how your life can improve.