Have you noticed any signs of hearing loss? Maybe you’ve been having a tough time following conversations or finding it difficult to hear the TV. Many Americans know they have some hearing loss, but find it difficult to get help. Let’s take a look at why you might be avoiding treating hearing loss, and what happens if you don’t treat hearing loss.
Are You Ignoring Your Hearing Loss?
Have you noticed any changes in your hearing abilities? Hearing loss is pretty common, with over 50 million Americans living with hearing loss. But if you know your hearing isn’t as good as it once was, why are you ignoring your hearing loss?
These are some of the most common reasons people give for putting off treating their hearing loss:
- “My hearing loss isn’t that bad yet.”
- “I don’t need help hearing, other people just need to speak up.”
- “I feel frustrated by hearing loss, and I don’t want to think about it more than I need to.”
- “I worry that treating hearing loss will make me seem old.”
Do any of these reasons sound familiar? Many people who have hearing loss wait up to 7 years before seeking treatment! During this time, their hearing loss keeps getting worse. But that’s not all that happens.
What Happens if You Don’t Treat Hearing Loss?
Living with untreated hearing loss doesn’t just affect your ears. It can have some major repercussions on your health and wellbeing, your energy, and even your social life.
Conversations are Hard
One of the first things you’ll realize when you have untreated hearing loss is that conversations are hard. As the months go by, it becomes harder and harder to follow conversations. It may sound like your family and friends are mumbling or speaking too softly. But even when they raise their voices, it’s still hard to understand what they said. Hearing loss can impact the clarity of sound, so even if you think you’ve heard all the words, you’re not hearing each sound in every word.
Conversations aren’t as fun. You start asking people to repeat themselves. You lean in, try to read lips, and look at people’s facial expressions to try to understand what they said. Before long, you may choose to avoid social situations or give up on conversations.
You Feel Anxious
Hearing loss can increase feelings of stress, worry, and anxiety. You worry about conversations with family and friends and wonder what they think of you now that you have hearing loss. You may also feel more anxious or stressed in unfamiliar environments. When you can’t hear everything that’s happening around you or hear where sounds are coming from, you may feel uneasy or even unsafe.
Hearing loss can be exhausting. You put a lot of energy into hearing conversations. For example, you strain to hear each sound and try to fill in the blanks when you miss a word. After a while, this ongoing fatigue can make you so tired that you don’t feel like yourself anymore.
You Experience Changes in Cognitive Abilities
Another thing that happens when you don’t treat your hearing is changes in your cognitive health. When you don’t hear everything happening around you, your brain stops receiving stimulation about everything going on in the environment. You may notice changes in cognitive abilities as your mental processes aren’t as sharp as they used to be.
You Have an Increased Risk of Dementia
Because of these changes in cognitive abilities, you have a higher risk of cognitive decline. You may have a harder time committing facts to memory as well as having a harder time recalling memories. You put a lot of extra cognitive effort into straining to hear and processing conversations, and you have less brain power left for other tasks. This can lead to cognitive decline. It also greatly increases your risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Treating Hearing Loss
The good news is that treating hearing loss can help you manage all these concerns. They make conversations easy and reduce listening fatigue to give you more energy. They reduce stress by helping you localize sounds. And they can even reduce cognitive decline and reduce your risk of dementia.
Whatever your reasons for avoiding treating hearing loss, it’s time to make a change. Visit us today for a hearing test and discover what hearing aids can do for you.