What Is Hearing Loss Costing You?
The effects of untreated hearing loss go beyond just missing snippets of a conversation. The true cost of hearing loss can be very high, and the effects even greater. Find out what untreated hearing loss is costing you.
Most people with hearing loss wait 5 to15 years before seeking help from an audiologist. And that lost time is extremely valuable. In that time, relationships can suffer, income could be lost and your mental health could be compromised. Here are some of the most common effects of untreated hearing loss. Which ones do you have?
Common Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss
- Dementia. Research has shown that people with untreated hearing loss have higher rates of dementia compared to those who wear hearing aids. Reasons for this include more brain function being diverted towards trying to decipher audio messages, as well as increased social isolation and depression. These factors together have a significant impact on your brain function and lead to dementia.
- Depression & Anxiety. Research has shown that people who live with untreated hearing loss suffer greater levels of depression and anxiety. Being unable to communicate effectively with family, friends and co-workers can leave you feeling like you’re missing something or being left out, and that people are moving on and doing things without you.
- Difficult Relationships. Fights about the volume of the radio or TV, or disagreements about what was or wasn’t said in a conversation are common in relationships where someone has untreated hearing loss. Studies have shown that after some time these disagreements can lead to feelings of alienation, loneliness and anxiety.
- Isolation. Adults with untreated hearing loss often remove themselves from conversations because they can’t follow along with what’s being said. They feel they can’t communicate well with others distance themselves from family, friends and co-workers.
- Lost Income. When you can’t hear what your boss, co-workers or clients are saying, hearing loss can affect how well you do your job. Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can cost up to $30,000 annually in lost income.
Hearing loss isn’t always permanent. While some hearing loss may be age-related, or the result of inner ear damage from loud sounds, hearing loss may be a side-effect of certain medications, or a buildup of ear wax. An experienced audiologist will conduct a thorough hearing examination, and help determine the cause of hearing loss.
Hearing Aids Do Help
If you do have permanent hearing loss, the good news is that many of the issues listed above go away once the hearing impairment is treated. Family relationships improve, feelings of anxiety and depression diminish, and people become more social and active, reducing feelings of isolation. And the slide into dementia is stopped and even reversed.
If you think you may have hearing loss, visit an experienced audiologist to get the right treatment for you, and avoid the pitfalls of hearing loss.