Hearing loss has far reaching effects on everyday life, health, and wellness. Nearly 1 in 6 people have some degree of impaired hearing. Though over 48 million people have hearing loss, it still remains widely undertreated. Only a third of people who could benefit from treatment actually receive it. Treatment not only is accessible but it transforms quality of life in significant ways. If you have any hearing loss symptoms, it is important to invest in your health by seeking treatment.
Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a medical condition that takes a toll on one’s capacity to hear and process speech as well as sound. This produces a range of symptoms that can affect every aspect of daily life. Major effects of untreated symptoms include:
- Strained Communication: hearing loss produces symptoms like tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing noise in the ears), muffling or distortion of sounds, and difficulty hearing in spaces with background noise. To cope, people often use strategies like lip reading to help identify words, pretending to hear to get through conversations, or avoiding conversations altogether. This can contribute to miscommunication or unpleasant conversations where people feel unheard and ignored. Strained communication can significantly affect relationships by contributing to distance and frustration.
- Income Loss: studies have shown that people with hearing loss can be more likely to experience unemployment or have less income compared to people without hearing loss. A study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute highlighted that people with severe hearing loss were twice as likely to be unemployed as people without hearing loss and people who use hearing aids. This study also showed that hearing loss was associated with a loss in annual income that reached up to $30,000.
- Health Risks: substantial research shows that untreated hearing loss can increase a number of health risks. This includes depressive symptoms, cognitive decline, falls, and accidental injuries. Increased health risks can affect mobility, behavior, increase health care costs, and take a toll on quality of life.
These effects of untreated hearing loss symptoms can impact relationships, social life, work performance, and mental health.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Treating hearing loss is possible and life changing. Investing in your health and seeking treatment can result in the following:
- Interpersonal Benefits: the most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These electronic devices are designed to absorb, amplify, and process speech as well as sound. This significant support makes it easier to hear and communicate, alleviating symptoms and maximizing hearing capacity. People are better able to engage in conversations and spend quality time with others. This prevents social withdrawal which is a common effect of untreated symptoms and allows people to fully participate in conversations and social activities. This support improves relationships and enriches social engagement.
- Health Benefits: numerous studies have shown that hearing aids can strengthen cognitive functions and brain health, reducing the risk of cognitive decline. Also, treating hearing loss increases spatial awareness and safety which reduces the risk of falls and accidental injuries. Hearing aids also enable people to navigate communication and social settings with greater support, improving mental health and wellness and decreasing the risk of depressive symptoms.
- Financial Benefits: studies have shown that treating hearing loss with hearing aids can close the income gap as well as alleviate the unemployment risks associated with untreated impaired hearing. Hearing aids support work performance and productivity which alleviate the effects on income that untreated symptoms can have.
These benefits profoundly improve everyday life. Treating hearing loss enables people to live full lives that they can be fully present and engaged in. This contributes to a greater quality of life, healthitness, and happiness
Prioritize Your Hearing Health Today
The first step you can take towards treatment is scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests involve a painless and noninvasive process that measures your hearing capacities and identifies your hearing needs. Once your hearing needs are known, treatment can be tailored to meet those needs.
At Audiology HEARS, we offer comprehensive services and individualized care that is invested in transforming your hearing health and wellness. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. We look forward to helping you prioritize your hearing health!