Dangers of Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is something that many people experience, particularly as they get older. However, despite the number of people effected, there’s still a stigma about treating it by using hearing aids. The truth is that by not treating hearing loss, you will face a number of dangers. We’ve gathered some of the dangers of untreated hearing loss to share them with you.
Your Voice Changes
When you can’t hear yourself very well, your voice will change in ways that you can’t predict. The most common way is that you will begin to unintentionally speak louder, but you may even begin to develop an accent as you lose touch with certain sounds. In fact, many people who have untreated hearing loss will even change the way they speak because of certain letters and sounds that they have trouble hearing, which makes communicating with others difficult and frustrating.
Can’t Hear Alarms
If you can’t hear the sound of a smoke or carbon monoxide detector going off in your home, your life is in danger. Tornado sirens are also meant to warn people of danger, but if you can’t hear them, you won’t know to take shelter. Although this danger has led some companies to include visual elements to their alarms, many alarms still rely completely on sound, which untreated hearing loss prevents you from responding to.
Decreased Mental Health
One of the ways the brain stays healthy is through stimulation by sound. With untreated hearing loss, the brain is not properly stimulated and that can lead to a decrease in mental health capabilities. These cognitive impairments also put people at a much higher risk or developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, a study that was done in 2011 uncovered that people who didn’t treat their hearing loss developed dementia up to 5 times more often than those who did treat hearing loss.
Lower Work Performance
If you’re working and dealing with healing loss, your work performance will suffer. In 2010, it was found that adults with untreated hearing loss made about $14,000 less every year compared to their co-workers. This is because people who have untreated hearing loss may miss important announcements and will have a much harder time communicating with their co-workers, boss, and customers, leading to a lower work performance.
Loss of Relationships
The basis of any relationship is communication, and if you’re not able to communicate with your friends and loved ones, it makes maintaining these relationships more difficult for you and for them. Often, those who have untreated hearing loss will begin to isolate themselves and avoid social situations in order to avoid the frustration and embarrassment that comes with not being able to understand or respond properly in social situations.
Lack of Enjoyment of Life
This is especially true if you’re someone who listens to music or watches movies as a form of entertainment. For people with untreated hearing loss, using captions becomes necessary during movies and TV shows, but it can be hard to keep up with reading the captions to know what’s being said and be able to enjoy the movie itself, leading to a complete lack of enjoyment. There are other simpler pleasures in life such as the sound of laughter or birds singing outside, that can’t be heard with untreated hearing loss.
With all of these dangers, it’s clear to see that leaving your hearing loss untreated is something that will seriously affect your quality of life and may even be putting it in danger. If there are things on this list that particularly stood out to you, then it might be time to do something about your untreated hearing loss and avoid these dangers.