The Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss

HL“Pardon me?”

“Would you mind repeating that?”

Hearing loss isn’t just an ear issue – it’s a quality of life and health issue. Untreated hearing loss can have serious consequences.

A decrease in hearing sensitivity is associated with mental health issues like anxiety and depression. The National Council on Aging found that 4,000 adults with untreated hearing loss – those not wearing hearing aids – had significantly higher rates of psychosocial disorders.

Hearing loss also contributes to diminished cognitive function. Your brain processes incoming sound signals so that you can understand them. If you have hearing loss, your brain has to work harder to understand degraded sound signals, so other tasks like memory and comprehension suffer.

A study at Johns Hopkins found that cognitive decline was 41% greater in seniors with hearing loss. The study also identified a link between the degree of hearing loss and the risk of developing dementia – those with severe hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia.

Hearing loss also affects work performance and relationships with friends and family. A 2010 study of 1,500 hearing-impaired people over age 55 revealed that 44% of people said that relationships with friends or family have suffered because they can’t hear properly.

Fortunately, hearing loss is treatable. According to the Better Hearing Institute, 95% 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
  • Improved communication skills

Download this PDF for more facts on hearing loss and contact the audiologists at Audio Help Hearing Centers in NYC for more information on hearing wellness. Call 888.832.9966 to speak with our Manhattan, NYC, or Scarsdale staff today! You can also schedule a hearing evaluation online.