Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition that people experience today? Though it is a pervasive health issue, impacting nearly 48 million people, hearing loss is often undertreated. Ignoring hearing loss and avoiding hearing tests can actually make impairment worse, having multifaceted effects on daily life.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
Being able to identify the signs of hearing loss is a useful way to notice any changes (even the most seemingly minor changes) to your hearing health. This can be helpful in intervening early, early detection and intervention can significantly support the transformation of your health. Common signs of hearing loss include the following:
- Tinnitus: commonly referred to as ringing of the ears, tinnitus is a buzzing or ringing like noise that is heard in one or both ears when no sound is present in the environment. TInnitus is one of the most common symptoms of hearing loss.
- Sounds are distorted. Speech and sound can seem muffled or slurred.
- Increasing the volume on electronic devices.
- Frequently asking others to repeat something they’ve said, speak louder, and/or slower.
- It is challenging to hear in environments with background noise.
- Using different strategies like lip reading, paying attention to nonverbal cues, or even pretending to hear to get through a conversation.
- Difficulty identifying individual words.
These symptoms can be experienced mildly to more severely depending on the degree of hearing loss present. Taking a toll on communication, conversations become challenging to engage in and navigate which can have major effects on daily life if untreated.
Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss
These symptoms can disrupt daily life in a variety of ways. Performing even the most simple tasks can be difficult when hearing is impaired and left untreated. Major effects of untreated hearing loss include:
- Social Withdrawal. One of the most common outcomes of untreated hearing loss is social withdrawal. Symptoms become barriers for effective conversation which can feel like too much work to navigate. It is common to experience miscommunication, not hear parts of a conversation, and feel drained from social interactions. This can lead to people avoiding conversations altogether – avoiding gatherings, events, and spending less time with loved ones. This kind of isolation can deteriorate social life and connections, impacting mental health and wellness.
- Strained Relationships. Strained communication can also take a toll on relationships. Communication is key for healthy and long-lasting relationships so not being able to have quality conversations and spend quality time can cause damage. There can be distance and tension which chips away at closeness and intimacy. Loved ones often report feeling ignored or unheard by the person with untreated hearing loss. This can lead to resentment and frustration, further isolating people.
- Health Decline. Strained communication, social withdrawal, and impacted relationships can collectively take a toll on overall health. These effects can significantly contribute to depression and anxiety, impacting mental health and happiness. Additionally, untreated hearing loss increases other health risks including cognitive decline as well as experiencing accidental injuries.
Avoiding addressing hearing loss can not only deepen the impairment but can also exacerbate these effects, making the problem much worse.
Treating Your Hearing Loss Today
Treating hearing loss as early as possible is incredibly important. The first step is simple and involves scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests involve a painless process that measures hearing capacity in both ears. This identifies any hearing impairment and the degree of hearing loss you could be experiencing. Once your hearing needs are established, a hearing healthcare specialist can recommend treatment options that meet those needs, transforming your hearing health.
Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. These are medical instruments that absorb and process sound, making it easier for people to hear much more easily and clearly. Treatment offers countless benefits that are life-changing including maximizing hearing capacity, strengthening communication, enriching social life, improving relationships, and overall health.
Call us to schedule an appointment today! Our practice is committed to providing individualized care that prioritizes your hearing healthcare needs. We are invested in providing comprehensive services and support that transform your quality of life.