There are unpleasant consequences of untreated hearing loss. Unfortunately, there are people suffering from it who choose to leave the problem untreated because of the embarrassing feeling it causes them.
Without a doubt, research shows hearing loss effects your daily life. Untreated hearing loss is not only affecting you physically but socially, psychologically and mentally as well.
Since the loss affects your hearing experience, it becomes difficult for you to communicate. Having trouble sending the message to the individual you’re trying to speak with will eventually result in withdrawal.
You use your sense of hearing on a daily basis. When you experience hearing loss, seeking immediate medical help is essential to prevent the condition from getting worse.
The Serious Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss
Numerous studies have demonstrated the negative effects of hearing loss which include the following:
- Avoidance from social situations
- Increased personal safety risk
- Reduced earning power
The most common notion about hearing loss is that it is an inevitable illness due to old age. There’s more to hearing loss than just an ailment brought about by aging.
It will strike even when you’ve come unprepared. It doesn’t only affect adults but children as well. If your child is experiencing a mild case of hearing loss, it’s important to seek medical help immediately. Hearing loss in children can affect their learning and communication.
What Happens When Hearing Loss Is Left Untreated?
Individuals who discover that their hearing has deteriorated don’t take action because they perceive hearing loss as a non-serious impairment, unlike vision loss. In recent years, studies have been conducted regarding the impact of untreated hearing loss on quality of life. Here are the potential effects:
1. Increased anxiety
2. Lower quality of life
4. Unsatisfactory job performance
5. Poor memory
6. Social withdrawal
7. Decreased level of safety
The Growing Number Of Untreated Hearing Loss
Without a doubt, the impact of hearing loss on your quality of life should be taken seriously.
Based on a study conducted by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, it’s been estimated that about 36 million Americans are found to have a hearing loss in which 17% of them belong to the adult population. The number continues to grow as people age.
Hearing Loss and Aging
Your body tends to deteriorate as you age. Hearing loss is one of the conditions you’ll experience as you grow old. Other contributing factors are genetics, chronic disease, and noise exposure. If a hearing loss is age-related, the condition slowly progresses.
While the inability to hear is an obvious sign of a hearing loss, you may also have trouble communicating. The fact that the hearing loss has a slow progression, makes it difficult for people who have it to acknowledge the condition. More often than not, it’s perceived as a normal sign of aging. A trip to an audiologist will confirm whether or not you have a hearing loss.
Due to the progressive nature of hearing loss, there are many factors that should be taken into consideration when it comes to measuring the severity of the loss.
One thing is for sure though: as the hearing loss progresses, the effects also get worse and worse. In 1999, the National Council on Aging commissioned a survey, which was participated by 4000 adults. All of which have hearing loss. These people demonstrated signs of anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders. Aside from the effects of hearing loss on physical development, an individual’s psychological development suffers as well.
The survey was also an opportunity to look into the long-term benefits of amplification. When a person with hearing loss wears a hearing aid, it becomes evident that their quality of life also improves. As hearing loss decreases emotional or social communication, hearing aids become a necessity for these people to live a normal life.
Recent developments have also paved the way for medical experts to discover how hearing loss can strongly increase the risk of dementia. People with mild hearing loss are more likely at risk of developing dementia than the ones with normal hearing.
On the other hand, people who have moderate hearing loss are found to be three times at risk of developing dementia. While hearing loss is deemed to be prevalent as people age, it doesn’t mean that younger adults and children will not be affected. Hearing loss can happen to anyone. With proper diagnosis, you will be able to determine the status of your hearing.
What’s In It For People Who Undergo Treatment
The stigma associated with a hearing loss makes it difficult for some individuals to seek help. However, once you’re found to have hearing loss, you’ll have trouble living a normal life. You’ll soon develop low self-esteem because you tend to withdraw from people for the fear of being misjudged. Wearing hearing aids is part of the treatment program.
It’s not only the patient who will be part of the treatment program but the significant others as well. Proof of treatment success have been shown in various studies. Aside from improving quality of life, people who seek help are slowly getting their life back to normal.
There are also rehabilitation programs that will help people with hearing loss create feelings of confidence and acceptance. The program provides individuals with a holistic treatment taking other illnesses into account.
During the early signs of hearing loss, people must seek treatment. Patients should also be educated about the importance of identifying the early signs of hearing loss. It’s one way to change the perception and manage the impairment early.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Your Emotion
Hearing takes a toll on your emotion. It can affect your self-confidence and make you feel depressed and frustrated. When hearing loss affects your emotion, it can also impact other aspects of your life. Here are the known effects of hearing loss in adults:
Low Income – Better Hearing Institute conducted a study regarding the effect of hearing loss on productivity, career success, and performance. It has been found that hearing impairment affects one’s income. If left untreated, people with hearing loss can lose approximately $30,000.
When people don’t have the confidence to contribute during meetings or understand instructions, feelings of insecurity and inadequacy start to sink in.
Eventually, you will be prevented from knowing your true potential. You could have been a candidate for promotion, but because of losing your confidence, you let this opportunity slip by.
Poor Communication – Giving 100% of your attention during conversations will also be challenging if you have hearing loss. You’d rather withdraw from friends or family members because you can’t fully understand what they’re talking about. You will often miss out those precious milestones like hearing your child speak because of an untreated hearing loss.
You avoid the consequences of untreated hearing loss by going to the audiologist to get your ears checked.
For your body to function well, your organs should be in optimal condition. It will only be possible if all of your senses including your sense of hearing are working perfectly fine.
Hearing loss comprehension ensures that you live a normal life free of any doubts, fears, and anxiety. Hearing loss is not a condition beyond your control. It is treatable and the decision to seek medical treatment lies in your hands.