How untreated hearing loss correlates to your total health, not just your hearing

Did you know that the average person waits seven years to seek help for their hearing problem? Often times, hearing loss occurs gradually, and we adapt to it over time, so we feel that it “isn’t that bad.” Untreated hearing loss has many negative side effects that relate to our overall health outside of hearing.
Research shows there is a strong correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Our brain plays a major role in hearing, as sound is processed in the brain, not our ears! When hearing loss occurs, our auditory system is unable to send signals to the brain. This lack of auditory input to the brain can lead to earlier onset of cognitive decline.
Untreated hearing loss is also associated with increased risks of falling. One reason for this is that people with hearing loss have less awareness of their environmental surroundings. Our hearing plays an important role when localizing sound. When we’re unable to hear these sounds or unable to localize where a sound is coming from it can be a concern for safety.
Social isolation is another concern for people with hearing loss. Not being able to understand conversation between your friends at social gatherings is tiring, and often people with hearing loss just give up and stop socializing all together. Sometimes people with hearing loss may react inappropriately to a conversation, resulting in embarrassment.
The solution for most people who struggle with this is that they just stay home and don’t interact with others to avoid the stress and embarrassment. This also leads to increased risk for anxiety and depression.
Don’t wait the average of seven years to seek help! Call us today to schedule your appointment for a hearing evaluation and learn about a treatment option that is right for you!
Becca Rancourt, Au.D. CCC-A Doctor of Audiology
Waterville Audiology