Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Is hearing loss holding you back? Trying to live with untreated hearing loss takes a toll on your overall health and quality of life. Hearing loss often happens gradually, which can mean it often goes unaddressed much longer than is prudent. The earlier hearing loss is detected and treated, the easier it is to manage. Treating hearing loss also helps curb the development of other related health issues. Unaddressed hearing loss contributes to problems such as depression, falling accidents and even dementia.
Hearing Loss and Quality of Life
One of the most immediate things people notice about treating their hearing loss is an improvement in their quality of life. Hearing loss can restrict our social activity and mobility. Challenges with our hearing can sap the pleasure out of activities we once enjoyed, such as conversations with friends, travel, movies and sporting events, making them instead frustrating and difficult to engage with.
For many people, living with hearing loss means falling out of social patterns. Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss greatly reduces the distance and amount of time a person travels away from their home. Communication and navigation both become more difficult with unchecked hearing loss, cutting into comfort and ease with mobility.
The way hearing loss cuts into one’s quality of life can have a resounding impact. Especially prevalent in people with untreated hearing loss are increased risk for anxiety, depression and social isolation. These conditions can occur separately or compound each other, and they all take a toll on our quality of life.
Decreased mobility as well as challenges with understanding others can be driving factors behind social isolation. Untreated hearing loss can make social activities difficult to engage with and social connections hard to maintain, potentially encouraging isolation.
Unaddressed hearing loss means that we can miss important environmental and conversational cues. Everything from finding the right train track at a station to keeping up with the latest family updates over the phone can become a frustrating endeavor when hearing loss is at play. At its best, hearing issues are inconvenient. At worst, it can drive up anxiety and anxiety issues.
Communication and comprehension problems can also drive the onset of depression. Hearing loss can trouble our ability to enjoy our favorite activities and connect with our loved ones. These challenges with engaging with others and the world encourage depressed states of mind and can create a roadblock to wellness.
Hearing Loss and Cognitive Health
Scientists are also uncovering a serious link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline, rooted in the way in which hearing loss stresses our mind. When you try to comprehend speech with hearing loss, your body and mind are forced to work harder. Like trying to finish a crossword puzzle with only half the clues, your brain has to create new connections and use extra resources to fill in the blanks left by hearing loss. The result is you process sound slower and less effectively, all while using more mental energy and cognitive resources.
Hearing loss can pull our attention away from even the most fundamental cognitive tasks, even our balance and coordination. At first glance, it seems a little uncanny that untreated hearing loss greatly increases a person’s risk of a serious fall or accident. However, it is becoming apparent to researchers that the focus hearing loss demands significantly reduces the resources we have available to our other senses.
The cognitive strain that occurs with untreated hearing loss can become more pronounced as hearing loss worsens. It is this strain that links unaddressed hearing loss to cognitive diseases like dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Conversely, treating hearing loss helps to alleviate the stress placed on cognitive tasks. Studies have also shown cognitive performance improving in people who wear hearing aids to treat their hearing loss.
Treating Hearing Loss
While untreated hearing loss can cause undesirable effects on your total health, there is good news. Treating hearing loss and managing it with hearing aids and other assistive devices greatly helps reduce the health risks that you could be vulnerable to with untreated hearing loss. Want to learn more about your hearing health? At David’s Hearing, we can help you fully realize the benefits of treating hearing loss with our blend of personalized care, comprehensive testing and a great selection of treatment options.