More Than Deafness: Stunning Side Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss
Choosing to live with untreated hearing loss affects far more than your ability to admire Mozart. While a staggering 36 million Americans have hearing loss, only 20% of these people who might benefit from treatment actually seek help. According to data released by Audiology.org, 60% of senior citizens and 86 percent of the middle-aged with diagnosed hearing loss refuse to wear hearing aids.
Previously, doctors believed the only side effect of untreated hearing loss was an annoying amount of repetitions. They also thought hearing loss was as inevitable as crow’s feet or liver spots. Scientists now know, however, that nothing could be further from the truth regarding hearing loss.
Many of the conditions related to temporary or permanent hearing loss can be easily treated. In today's modern times, there’s little to no reason to prolong auditory treatment. Recent medical advancements now make it easier than ever to deal with auditory conditions.
If you are living with untreated hearing loss, North Shore Hearing P.C. can help guide you toward a viable solution. In the process, you can avoid one or more of the following side effects of untreated hearing loss.
Physical Side Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss
Untreated Hearing Loss Has Been Linked to Dementia
Did you know new research connects dementia and untreated hearing loss? A study by the John Hopkins School of Medicine found those suffering from mild, moderate and severe hearing loss are two, three and even five times more likely to develop dementia than people with normal hearing. While this is frightening news, it’s believed the risk of memory impairment can be mitigated using devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants.
To go from a world full of noise to one of muffled cotton is a drastic change. For those used to constant auditory inputs, it can take time to adjust. As people naturally associate silence with sleep, it’s unsurprising untreated hearing loss can lead to excessive fatigue, drowsiness, and an overall reduction in alertness.
Psychological Side Effects
Someone who once had perfect hearing might find its loss frustrating. Leaving it untreated allows these feelings to compound into bitterness, resentment, and anger. Over a long period of time, this can lead to heightened levels of aggression.
Asking for help isn’t easy. And, it’s even harder for those accustomed to high-levels of independence. Those suffering from untreated hearing loss may often find themselves ashamed of asking for clarifications, which causes them to live in constant fear of mishearing something important.
We live in a society obsessed with youth. There’s a reason you can find half an aisle dedicated to anti-aging in most supermarkets. As hearing loss is associated with the elderly, this societal shallowness often leads to feelings of inadequacy in the hearing impaired. As a result, self-confidence plummets. Once they received treatment, however, 48 percent of patients reported improved feelings of self-worth.
Hearing loss often leads to isolation and depression. In a recent survey, 30 percent of seniors with severe and untreated hearing loss reported prolonged periods of sadness. For those electing to wear hearing aids, however, the rate of reported depression dropped to just 22 percent.
Without intonation to help you, even the most innocent statements can sound angry or irritable. Due to an inability to hear the conversations going on around them, many people suffering from hearing loss suffer from heightened levels of paranoia. Individuals with untreated hearing loss were three times more likely to agree with the statement that “other people get angry at me for no reason” than those wearing hearing aids.
Societal Side Effects
Those suffering from hearing impairments tend to wall themselves off from others. One study discovered that just 32 percent of elderly people suffering from untreated hearing loss regularly took part in social activities; this number rose to 42 percent for those who chose to receive auditory treatment.
Proper communication is key to personal and career success. A lack of it leads to conflict, missed deadlines, and ruined relationships. Hearing loss just makes it this already difficult process even more complex.
Worsened Job Performance
For a stenographer or transcriptionist, this is an obvious consequence of hearing loss. But, even the most isolated employee might find optimal performance more elusive after hearing loss.
Contact North Shore Hearing P.C
As your local hearing experts, we offer a variety of hearing loss services and solutions to help you hear and experience the world more clearly. Our goal is to provide the highest level of treatment to anyone suffering from untreated hearing life.
Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. today to schedule your free hearing screening.