On the surface, it might seem that a little hearing loss isn’t a big deal. Maybe you’ll just turn the television up a bit louder, or ask your spouse to repeat themselves a little more often. But when hearing loss begins and continues to progress, it can bring about other obstacles and dangers that people aren’t always aware of.
Changes To Your Mental Capacity
Think about how imperative hearing is to the development of our brains. From a young age, we learn how to talk and engage with those around us through sound. This doesn’t just stop once we’ve reached adulthood; in fact, we continue to exercise our brains each time we hear something and need to respond.
If your hearing is diminished and you don’t take any steps toward addressing it, you are putting yourself at a major disservice. As time goes on without you being able to hear well, your brain will essentially get less and less exercise. This change to your cognitive ability will affect you in every area of your life, not just during those moments you wish you could hear a little better.
Your Emotions Might Shift
Individuals with hearing problems don’t just experience their impairment on a physical or mental level; many times your emotions will undergo a huge change as well. Hearing loss that’s left untreated leads to increased isolation, as you can’t engage with the rest of the world like you used to. Easy things like going to see a movie or ordering dinner at a restaurant all become harder tasks, and some people eventually give up on going out.
This solitude and lack of engagement in activities you used to enjoy can lead to depression and anxiety in some. People who once were very outgoing might even experience a complete change in personality, finding they are much more introverted.
Health Problems Could Follow
Hearing loss can lead to a host of health conditions that could develop if left untreated for a long period of time. Aside from the fact that diminished hearing can contribute to accidents or injuries, it’s also been proven that those with a loss of hearing are three times more likely to fall than those who use hearing aids.
Another link that’s being studied? How hearing loss can contribute to dementia. It turns out that the cognitive changes that occur in your brain when hearing is reduced can play a role in this debilitating disease.
Treating Your Hearing Loss
Many people are nervous or embarrassed about visiting an audiologist and participating in a hearing evaluation, however, it could be the one step that dramatically changes your life. Given that diminished hearing is usually treatable, there’s no reason not to address it.
You owe it to yourself and the ones you love to treat your hearing loss before it takes a toll in the ways we’ve described above. When your mental, physical, and emotional health are at stake, take some time to consider the use of hearing aids and how they can positively affect your life.