Now that we’re in 2020 and a new decade, it’s a good time to take stock of our goals. Many people make goals to improve the quality of their life, whether it’s spending more time with friends and family or finally exploring that hobby they always wanted to get into. Regardless of what your goals are, they will all be much harder to attain if you suffer from hearing loss. It’s hard to believe, but you may be living with hearing loss and not know it. Not only that, but the dangers of untreated hearing loss effect more than you’re just your ears.
Your hearing loss may be undiagnosed
A national study finds that about a quarter of people between the ages of 20 and 69 who think their hearing is good or excellent are in fact showing signs of hearing loss. One reason for this may be the insidious nature of some types of hearing loss, that is, that their hearing loss had a gradual onset, and they adapted to each slight reduction in hearing ability. They may have become habituated to each reduced level of ability to hear and become convinced that their hearing is normal or not an issue to be concerned about. Often, it’s your family members or co-workers that notice this hearing decline first. If someone close to you suggests that you may be suffering from hearing loss, it’s best not to get defensiveness. Their effort to bring up this issue is a sign of how much that person cares for you and your well being.
Hearing loss and a strain on relationships
Although you experience it alone, your hearing loss can affect all of your relationships. Don’t underestimate the impact of hearing loss on the people around you. In fact, a 2009 study showed that relationships are failing because of unmanaged hearing loss. The survey of 1,500 hearing-impaired people over 55 revealed that almost half (44 percent of people) said that relationships with their partner, friends or family have suffered because they can’t hear properly.
Hearing loss is a quality of life and health issue
Untreated hearing loss can have serious consequences. A decrease in hearing has been associated with diminished cognitive function, poorer mental health, and social withdrawal. There are also many correlations between hearing loss and higher rates of psychosocial disorders including depression and anxiety in individuals with untreated hearing loss that are not using hearing aids.
Hearing loss and Dementia
A study at Johns Hopkins found that cognitive diminishment was 41 percent greater in seniors with hearing loss. The study identified a link between the degree of hearing loss and the risk of developing dementia.
Researchers have long understood the link between cognition and hearing acuity. When you are listening to someone speak your brain is processing the sound so that you can translate it. A listener with untreated hearing loss is trying to understand degraded speech signals, forcing their brain to work harder to process those sounds. While your brain is busy working to understand incoming speech signals other tasks like memory and comprehension can suffer.
Hearing loss is treatable
The good news is that hearing loss is treatable. According to the Better Hearing Institute, 95 percent of Americans with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids. Hearing aids help process incoming sound making it easier for your brain to understand them. Other benefits of hearing aids include reduced mental fatigue, decreased feelings of social isolation and depression, improved ability to multitask, improved memory and focus, as well as improved communication skills.
Hearing Centers of Indiana
If you suspect you have a hearing loss make it a goal to set up a hearing test, so you know for sure. Contact us at Hearing Centers of Indiana to set up an appointment today. We can help you find the best hearing aids for your lifestyle. You have so much to gain from hearing aids for your life and for all those who care about you.