Hearing loss affects more than just your hearing. By choosing to ignore your hearing loss, you put your physical wellness, mental health, career and relationships at risk. Learn more about the risks associated with untreated hearing loss below:
According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of injury for older Americans. Research from Johns Hopkins has shown that people with hearing loss are three times more likely to experience a fall than those without. This is likely due to lower overall awareness of one’s surroundings, which increases chances of tripping and falling.
Fortunately, another study by Washington University School of Medicine found that hearing aids can improve balance and awareness in older adults and reduce risk of falling.
Untreated hearing loss is associated with many forms of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, memory loss, brain shrinkage and cognitive decline. In fact, Johns Hopkins followed patients with hearing loss over six years and found that their cognitive abilities decreased 30-40 percent faster than people healthy hearing.
It’s important to treat hearing loss before it impacts brain structure. Wearing hearing aids has been shown to reduce the risks of mental illness and cognitive decline associated with hearing loss.
The Better Hearing Institute found that people with untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to be unemployed as normal-hearing peers, and that people with untreated hearing loss who are employed make up to $30,000 less annually than their colleagues.
The same study found that people who wear hearing aids close this wage gap by as much as 90-100 percent, and that most users in the workforce report better job performance once they started wearing devices.
You may already know this if your loved ones have been pestering you to get a hearing test, but one of the biggest impacts hearing loss has is on personal relationships. When you can’t hear well, you’re likely to withdraw socially from activities you once enjoyed and be less likely to engage in activities like talking on the phone. In addition, if you have untreated hearing loss, your partner may be taking on the brunt of certain responsibilities like scheduling appointments, answering the door and running errands. Over time, this can lead to resentment and strain on relationships.
Once you seek treatment for your hearing loss, you’ll be more likely to want to go out and enjoy your favorite hobbies again. Your partner will appreciate the steps you’ve taken to improve your communication as a couple.
For more information or to schedule a hearing test, call Hearing Center of Lake Charles today!