Millions of people delay treatment for their hearing loss. They often believe that the only impact is that they struggle to hear a little bit and that as long as the volume is turned up or people speak louder, there is no real problem. However, hearing loss impacts far more than just your hearing.
By the time that some of our patients visit one of our hearing clinics, they have already started experiencing the other symptoms linked to hearing loss, such as increased tinnitus, social isolation, and other issues. To help motivate you to address your hearing loss today, below are seven other problems that can be a result of hearing impairment.
1. Untreated Hearing Loss Can Lead To Social Isolation
One of the earlier signs of hearing loss is difficulty hearing in social situations. Once your auditory system has been damaged—even in the cases of mild hearing loss—it can be more difficult to sort through the sounds that are coming at you when talking in a group. This issue can be magnified if there is music playing in the background or other noises to sort through.
There are only so many times a person feels comfortable asking others to repeat themselves or speak louder. Often, those individuals struggling with untreated hearing loss tend to withdraw from socializing to avoid feelings of embarrassment, frustration, and confusion.
2. Depression Has Been Linked To Hearing Loss
Closely linked to the social isolation effect of untreated hearing impairment is depression. Humans are social animals, and even introverts—who are often exhausted from prolonged social obligations—need a certain amount of interaction with others. But hearing loss can make connecting and communicating with other people difficult and frustrating.
Until steps are taken to treat the hearing loss with hearing aids or other appropriate interventions, there are likely very few ways to minimize the depression that untreated hearing loss can trigger.
3. Speech Comprehension And Vocabulary Can Be Impacted
The longer a person’s hearing loss goes untreated, the higher the impact on their speech comprehension and vocabulary. This damage is caused by the lack of stimulation of the auditory system. As it receives reduced input due to hearing loss, the part of your brain that is responsible for processing sound becomes damaged.
Brain scans have shown that those with untreated hearing loss often have less grey matter in the critical areas where language is processed. Once damaged, it is not surprising that a person’s speech and vocabulary are impacted, so quick hearing loss treatment is needed to prevent this side-effect.
4. Unregulated Hearing Loss Can Cause Stress And Anxiety
Struggling to hear and interact with the world around you can be stressful when you have an untreated hearing impairment. Our world is full of sounds used as cues to indicate everything from someone passing you on a bike path to alerts indicating danger. Not being able to clearly hear these cues can be incredibly stressful and raise your anxiety levels.
5. Increased Tinnitus Can Be Triggered By Hearing Impairment
Tinnitus—ringing in the ears or other monotonous sounds like buzzing, roaring, etc.—can be a sign of hearing loss. As you lose the ability to receive external sounds, the internal sound of tinnitus can become more obvious and irritating.
For those individuals who already suffer from tinnitus, hearing loss can increase their perception of their tinnitus. However, there are hearing aids that can address both hearing loss and tinnitus management needs.
6. Decline In Cognitive Ability Connected To Hearing Loss
As we mentioned the damage that the brain can suffer from untreated hearing loss, you should know that the effects are not limited to the area of the brain that processes speech and other sounds. A nearby structure in the brain is also responsible for long-term memory as well as processing sounds, and this memory center is also impacted by hearing loss.
There has been a lot of research that links increased cognitive decline with hearing loss. Those who leave their hearing loss untreated often have higher rates of cognitive decline and can suffer from dementia.
7. Higher Fall Risk Linked To Hearing Loss
Issues with your auditory system have also been linked to being at higher risk of falling. Part of that is due to the semicircular canals—which regulate balance—in your inner ear are close to the cochlea, where your sound-sensing hair cells are located. So, if those hairs have been damaged, it is likely that the semicircular canals have become damaged.
Hearing loss treatment can’t fix all the issues that come with damaged semicircular canals. However, it can help your balance, and you can become more aware of outside dangers that can threaten your stability.
Manage Your Hearing Loss In Las Vegas, NV
Rather than struggling with hearing loss and other associated health issues, it may be time to find the treatment you need. You can start simply by coming into visit Hearing Associates of Las Vegas for a diagnostic hearing evaluation.
To start taking control of your hearing loss today, feel free to contact us and set up an appointment. We are ready to get your hearing back on track and help you prevent the other side-effects of hearing loss.