The Risks of Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can lead to a number of social, emotional, and mental repercussions if left untreated. In order to avoid the consequences of untreated hearing loss, it’s important to get a professional diagnosis and treatment plan.
Untreated hearing loss comes with a number of risks, both in terms of health and emotional wellbeing. When people choose to go untreated, they are risking their relationships, careers, and health.
Illnesses intensified by hearing loss
Certain illnesses can put you at risk of hearing loss or become exacerbated when you leave hearing loss untreated.
For example, cardiovascular disease can put you at risk for low-frequency hearing loss. If you or your family has a history of this issue, you might have undiagnosed hearing loss you haven’t noticed. Getting your hearing tested regularly can recognize this issue before it begins to affect your life.
Those with diabetes are more at risk for hearing loss than those without because it can result in damage to blood vessels in the inner ear. People with diabetes should get their hearing checked more often than those who do not, as they are more likely to develop hearing loss at a younger age.
Untreated hearing loss can result in cognitive impairment as certain parts of the brain deteriorate without aural stimulation and the brain overcompensates for gaps in hearing, leading to problems with concentration and fatigue. There are also indications that untreated hearing loss can accelerate dementia.
Social consequences of hearing loss
In both adults and children with hearing loss, the social consequences of going without treatment are great. For children, this can come in the form of bullying or social isolation. These factors can have a serious, detrimental impact on their development as they grow up, and their self-esteem and education might suffer.
For adults, untreated hearing loss can affect careers, relationships, and friendships. It might be difficult to maintain friendships, and it might be difficult to find a happy, stable relationship when one party is suffering from hearing loss. Hearing loss can also cause people to miss opportunities in their career, whether directly or indirectly.
While people should be accommodating when dealing with another person’s hearing loss, that is not always the case.
Emotional repercussions of hearing loss
People with hearing loss report a higher level of fatigue at the end of the day, both physically and emotionally. They have to hyper-focus other senses to stay alert and wear themselves down to keep up with their friends and coworkers. This level of exhaustion can result in chronic fatigue, anxiety, and even depression. A person suffering from hearing loss might also worry that coworkers and friends are speaking badly of them behind their back. This can lead to a sense of loneliness and depression.
Many aspects of the human body and experience are linked to a person’s senses. When one of these senses is hindered or completely lost, it can have a serious effect on how they live their lives. If the problem can be mitigated in some way, treatment is almost always encouraged. Talk to your hearing care professional if you think you or a loved one could benefit from hearing aids.