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Working with Hearing Loss
February 18, 2021

Avoiding Hearing Tests Could Make the Problem Much Worse

When we first get a sense that hearing loss might become a problem, an array of responses can occur. Some people rush to get treatment as soon as possible, eager to restore their ability to communicate and fully engage with the sounding world. Others are hesitant to seek treatment for a number of personal reasons, and still others would rather deny that hearing loss is becoming a problem at all. 

Of course, the decision to seek treatment for hearing loss only lies with you, and just like any important decision you must be ready to embark on the path. However, it is important to know how high the stakes are before you delay seeking treatment for hearing loss. What might seem like an inconvenience in some settings can actually be contributing to further hearing loss, as well as other associated health problems. Getting a fair sense of the effects of hearing loss will help you make a better decision about the urgency of seeking treatment.

Hearing Loss and Your Health

If hearing loss were an isolated problem, then you might have a good sense of the negative effects from your personal experience. On the contrary, hearing loss is associated with a wide range of negative health effects. To begin with, hearing loss is strongly correlated with some physical health problems, and the specifics might surprise you Those who have cardiovascular disease are more likely to have hearing loss, and researchers think there may be a connection between oxygen flow and inflammation. Other associated physical health concerns include diabetes and obesity. While it is not as simple as hearing loss causing these other health concerns, the correlation between them is enough to give pause. 

Beyond physical health, hearing loss is also associated with cognitive decline. In this case, many researchers actually believe that hearing loss might have a causal effect on cognitive decline and even dementia. The link between them seems to have to do with the ability to communicate. When a person has hearing loss, conversations become an assortment of seemingly random sounds rather than coherent words and phrases. This jumble of sounds can become a puzzle without all the pieces, and researchers believe that this confusion can lead to serious cognitive problems, including dementia. 

Mental and social health problems occur with untreated hearing loss, as well. When a person has trouble communicating, the effect can be devastating for the feeling of connection with others. Without freely flowing conversations, individuals can feel emotionally and socially isolated. It comes as no surprise that this kind of isolation can be related to frustration, anger, anxiety, and even depression. Added to this social struggle is the mental reckoning with personal limitations, so the emotional and mental toll accompanies social struggle for many people with hearing loss, as well. 

The Benefits of Treatment

Rather than focusing on the negative health effects of untreated hearing loss, consider the benefits of getting treatment. Once you have the assistance you need, many of the negative associations with health problems can actually be relieved. Those who wear hearing aids have better results of cognitive tests later in life, and even those who do have those problems tend to have a slower process of decline. When hearing aids step into conversations to help you make sense, you are likely to feel like relationships are reconnected. Along with that sense of connection, hearing aids are reported to make people feel more independent and able to move through the world with confidence. 

Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss

The latest features and capabilities of hearing aids might surprise you, making it possible to isolate the voice of the person speaking to you in a noisy room, as well as reducing background sound in general. When you add Bluetooth connectivity and streaming to the list of functions, the benefits of hearing aids will extend beyond health and wellness benefits, as well.

With these many benefits in mind, why not take the first step toward assistance with a hearing test with us! The test itself is completely painless, brief, and simple to complete. With those results in hand, your hearing health professional can make a thorough diagnosis as well as recommend the best hearing aids for your needs. 

Jon Suarez, MS, F/AAA
Jon Suarez, MS, F/AAA
Received his Masters in Audiology from Central Missouri State. He also holds a BS in Communication Disorders and Sciences, and a BA in Philosophy, both from SUNY Plattsburgh. Jon has been a licensed Audiologist since 2004, was certified as a Professional Supervisor for Audiometric Testing, and as an Occupational Hearing Conservationist. Aside from his work in our area, Jon is also associated with, and donates equipment to, All Ears International.
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