Living with untreated hearing loss is one of the worst things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing. You might think missing the odd sound here and there won’t have a big effect in the long run, and you can cope by turning up the TV, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re one of the roughly 40 million Americans who struggle to hear, read on for a few of the excellent reasons to stop ignoring your hearing loss, and look after your hearing health.
American Speech Language Hearing Association
If you have hearing loss, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) wants you to do something about it. Since 1927, they’ve recognized May as Better Hearing and Speech Month! They use this month to raise awareness of speech and communication disorders, highlight the roles of ASHA members such as audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, and audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel, and encourage Americans to seek treatment. This year, the theme “Communication Across the Lifespan” and you can visit http://www.asha.org/bhsm/ to learn more.
Relationships and Hearing Loss
If you are considering ignoring your hearing loss, think again. When you ignore your hearing loss, you’ll face a breakdown in some of your closest relationships, and you could find yourself feeling socially isolated and alone. When you can’t follow conversations, you tend to withdraw further from friends and family, and stop participating in the activities you love the most. Those with untreated hearing loss are more likely to be unhappy, struggle with exhaustion, and even have a shorter life span.
A quality pair of hearing devices will allow you to hear clearly, participate fully in conversations, and keep your from missing out on any of the fun. “I’m so glad I got hearing aids,” says Lesley P. from California. “It has truly been life changing, and I’d never go back to life without hearing aids.”
Mental Health and Hearing Loss
A number of studies point to clear links between hearing loss and mental health, showing that hearing loss affects the brain in profound ways. Those with hearing loss are far more likely to experience anxiety and depression, and show signs of rapid cognitive decline and brain shrinkage. A study from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that those who lived with untreated hearing loss for 6 years had 30-40% more rapid cognitive decline than their peers with normal hearing!
If you have hearing loss, it pays to treat it sooner rather than later, and investing in hearing aids before your brain changes will help you stay sharp for years to come. Treating hearing loss also reduces your risk of depression by helping you stay connected with the people you love, and motivated to do the things that bring you joy.
Physical Health and Hearing Loss
Not only does your emotional and mental health suffer when you have untreated hearing loss, your physical health is affected as well. According to the National Council on Aging, “falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans” and trips, slips, and falls are far more common for those with hearing loss. In fact, if you have hearing loss, you’re three times as likely to experience a fall! When you can’t hear the sounds around you, and struggle to localize sounds, balance is affected and you’re less aware of your environment, increasing your chances of suffering an accident.
Treating hearing loss improves balance for those with hearing loss, preventing falls and protecting personal safety. You’ll be able to hear warning honks or bells, maintain awareness of everything happening around you, and stay safe.
Pacific Hearing Care
If you have hearing loss, then celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month with us at Pacific Hearing Care, and find out how a quality pair of hearing devices will improve your relationships, improve your mental health, be good for your brain, and safeguard your physical health. Our team of hearing health specialists will help you determine your exact hearing needs, and recommend the perfect devices that will help you hear in the environments where you struggle the most, so you can enjoy clear hearing all day every day, in every situation.