Living with untreated hearing loss is a long and often, lonely battle. Even when trying to do simple daily tasks, such as listening for the coffee maker and microwave, hearing the doorbell and telephone ring, not to mention understanding telephone conversations, hearing loss can impact every corner of a person’s lifestyle and functionality.
The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss
Aside from untreated hearing loss becoming an annoyance, untreated hearing loss also creates feelings of isolation and sadness. “Untreated hearing loss has serious emotional and social consequences for older persons,” according to a new study by The National Council on the Aging (NCOA). Previously thought to be a harmless condition, this study shows results supporting the connection between untreated hearing loss, depression and other cognitive disorders.
Living with untreated hearing loss does not only impact the life of the person with hearing loss. As this study supports, hearing loss impacts families and friends, as well as the person suffering from hearing loss.
Untreated Hearing Loss Study Results
President and CEO of The National Council on the Aging, James Firman, EdD, released the findings of a study involving 2,300 hearing impaired adults aged 50+. The study concluded that people with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety and paranoia. The results also showed that participants not wearing hearing aids were less likely to participate in organized social activities, this compared to those participants who did wear hearing aids.
The survey produced more results showing that a larger group of seniors with untreated hearing loss who were not wearing hearing aids “reported feelings of sadness or depression that lasted two or more weeks during the previous years. Among respondents with more severe hearing loss, 30 percent of nonusers of hearing aids reported these sad feelings, com-pared to 22 percent of hearing aid users,” according to NCOA study results.
As part of the study, participants who did wear hearing aids reported substantial improvements in many areas of their lives. According to Carolyn Holmes, PhD, of the Seniors Research Group, “This survey is groundbreaking not only in the large size of the sample but also in the inclusion of 2,090 close family members or friends of the hearing- impaired respondents who were asked a parallel set of questions.” This chart shows the results of the questions asked to both study participants and their family members:
Untreated Hearing Loss & The Brain
As we grow older, one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is keep our brain healthy. Untreated hearing loss works against keeping a healthy brain as it works to slow the connection between our senses and sharp cognitive abilities.
Hearing loss is a very common condition, especially in older adults. Although hearing loss can hugely impact many areas of your life, if you choose to leave your hearing loss untreated, it can be even more detrimental to living a long healthy brain life. The increasing number of people living with hearing loss around the globe is substantial. In fact, less than a quarter of people with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing instruments, actually wear them.
Sadly, it typically takes a person with hearing loss about seven years to seek treatment for their hearing loss. Unfortunately, that length of time allows for a significant period of cognitive [brain] decline that could be prevented. We hear with more than just our ears. This may surprise you, but we actually hear with our brains. Hearing loss can cause the connections in our brain to become reordered and confused but, hearing aids can help by preventing this reordering from occurring.
Take the First Steps Toward Hearing Loss Help
At Physicians Hearing Solutions, we offer specialized hearing help to every patient. We work to determine each patient’s level of hearing loss and finding the right hearing solution based on each patient’s lifestyle and budget.
Physicians Hearing Solutions also offers patients the choice of seeing one of our Audiologists or Hearing Health professionals. Our hearing healthcare professionals offer patients a clear path to better hearing health combined with specialized hearing support services. Each of the Physicians Hearing Solutions team member’s value providing a superior patient experience and quality hearing healthcare services to all patients, every time. If you’re ready to put an end to your untreated hearing loss, we’re here for you! Schedule your free hearing screening today: (401) 921-0181 or find us online at: www.phsdocs.com.