When you avoid getting a hearing test, you are preventing yourself from receiving the treatment that might be necessary. Without a full diagnosis, you might not realize how much of your hearing ability is compromised. Many people feel like they can get by with limited hearing ability. Whether they read between the lines in conversation or pretend they can hear when they really cannot, people find all kinds of ways to make due with limited hearing. Although these people feel like they are getting by just fine, avoiding a hearing test and treatment can make matters much worse.
Untreated hearing loss is associated with a wide range of health effects, including an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Let’s take a look at the potential problems that can come as a result of untreated hearing loss. Not only can your relationships and mental health suffer, but you might be bringing other aspects of negative health by putting off treatment. On the contrary, when you get treatment for hearing loss, you can reap the benefits for your health and wellbeing.
Hearing loss impedes your ability to communicate with others. Although you might feel like you’re getting enough out of your conversations to get by, limited communication ability comes with a whole host of other issues. In the first place, limited communication can be a barrier in your relationships. When you miss out on what others have to say, they can feel a lack of closeness with you. In the worst cases, they might even have hurt feelings due to missed information or the sense that you don’t care.
These communication problems go beyond the practical struggle to communicate. Many people experience frustration, anger, embarrassment, or sadness when they can’t connect with others. These feelings can produce anxiety at the prospect of future encounters with others. Some people even avoid social interactions more generally, preferring to isolate themselves rather than risk the embarrassment and frustration that can come with a failed attempt at communication.
Hearing Loss and Health Problems
Untreated hearing loss is not only a risk to your ability to communicate. Several other health problems are associated with hearing loss, as well. Accidents and injuries are more common, and experts wonder if hearing loss reduces our ability to stay aware of risks in the environment. Along with communication struggles, those who have untreated hearing loss have a higher risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
Something in the process of converting sound into meaningful language is reallocated to other parts of the brain that are usually devoted to complex thought. This reallocation can spill over into cognition more generally, leading to higher rates of dementia and a faster rate of cognitive decline for those who receive a dementia diagnosis.
Those who have untreated hearing loss even tend to make less money than their counterparts who have healthy hearing. Their workplace performance can be affected in ways that make them ineffective or inefficient at their work. Hearing loss in the workplace can pose a safety risk, particularly when instructions are missed in the working process and warnings are not received. These problems at work can have a dollar value, on average, meaning that people with untreated hearing loss actually have lower wages on the whole.
If you have untreated hearing loss, you might think you’re getting by just fine. Although might be able to catch enough of a conversation to make a guess at what others say, you could be setting yourself up for serious problems down the road. Whether in terms of physical, mental, or cognitive wellbeing, your risk of health problems is greater with untreated hearing loss. Why not take this information as inspiration to make a move toward treatment?
All you need to do is schedule a hearing test to put yourself on the path toward assistance. After a full diagnostic exam and consultation with our hearing health professionals, we can recommend the right hearing aids for your needs. With hearing aids in place, you will be able to re engage with your community, family, friends, and loved ones in a meaningful way. Don’t put off treatment any longer!