If you neglect to treat your hearing loss, your friends will trust you with a secret. But, you probably didn’t hear it in the first place! All kidding aside, untreated hearing loss is no laughing matter. Hearing loss by itself is detrimental enough to one’s well-being. If hearing loss continues to go unchecked, it can lead to numerous other physical and mental issues while impacting your work performance and jeopardizing your safety.
If left untreated, your hearing loss will isolate you from the conversation and social interaction that is vital to our well-being. You might not hear your grandchild’s first words, or know if someone is flirting with you. The sounds of wind blowing through trees, birds chirping, and rain hitting the roof will become distant memories. The world will seem smaller, and your participation in it will gradually lessen. Those who are socially isolated have very few fulfilling relationships and suffer a lack of well-being.
The isolating effects of untreated hearing loss can be detrimental to the psychological well-being of an individual. According to the American Academy of Audiologists, adults aged 50 and older with untreated hearing loss were more apt to report feelings of depression than those who used hearing aids. Sadly, many of these individuals suffer in silence because they neglect to seek professional help.
Many older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop thinking and remembering problems than those without hearing difficulty. Research may have found a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Brain shrinkage, which is a normal part of aging, combined with a hearing loss accelerates cognitive decline. This research is important as it may demonstrate how the use of a hearing device can slow down the impairment of cognition.
Effective communication is essential for success in the workplace of today. Adequate hearing and the ability to listen to instructions is critical for productivity. Poor hearing ability leads to misunderstandings that result in mistakes, missed deadlines, and unsatisfied clients. Untreated hearing loss can impact a worker in many ways, even financially.
Satisfactory hearing is essential to personal safety. Because a hearing loss can make it difficult to hear an approaching vehicle, a smoke detector, emergency personnel while driving, or maybe a loved one’s call for help, it becomes clear that untreated hearing loss can have serious consequences.
Untreated hearing loss can drastically affect one’s physical health. Headaches, ringing in the ears, fatigue, Vertigo, and Tinnitus are frequently experienced by the hearing impaired. Researchers at John Hopkins have linked hearing loss, even mild hearing impairments, to an increased likelihood of falls.
Hearing loss challenges individuals in many ways that are invisible to the general public. The impairment has implications well beyond missing out on the conversation. If you are managing an untreated hearing loss, it may be a good time to address it. The Hearing Loss Association of America provides numerous links to help you get started hearing better and enjoying all the beautiful sounds life has to offer you.