Impacts of Untreated Hearing Loss
Many of us are aware we are living with hearing loss. However, we don’t always know where to seek help. Individuals living with diagnosed hearing loss often wait, on average, seven years before following up with an audiologist for care. While waiting might seem like a minor inconvenience, having to ask people to repeat themselves every now and then, the truth is that untreated hearing loss can have detrimental consequences to your overall health. Recent studies indicate that untreated hearing loss leads to social, psychological, cognitive and health issues that can have varying impacts on your quality of life.
Emotional effects of untreated hearing loss
Not be able to hear clearly or well can lead to several emotional issues, including:
- Fatigue or stress
- Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
- Social rejection and loneliness
- Depression and anxiety
Cognitive effects of untreated hearing loss
When hearing loss occurs, the brain doesn’t have to work as hard, because it isn’t receiving and transmitting as many signals about noise anymore. Like any other muscle that stops doing as many reps, the brain will begin to atrophy, which can lead to cognitive issues, including:
- Memory loss
- Brain composition/organization
Because there is less sensory stimulation, there is less gray matter in the auditory cortex, the area responsible for speech comprehension. When this area of gray matter decreases, people begin to have a hard time not only hearing words but remembering them, too.
Reduced quality of life
As one’s physical health is at increased risk, and one’s mental and cognitive health declines, their overall quality of life will reduce, too. In fact, someone who lives with untreated hearing loss tends to socially withdrawal because attending social situations can be difficult.
Contact the audiologists at Advanced Audiology Services today to learn how hearing aids can help improve your life.