Hearing loss is a growing health concern both in the US and worldwide. Hearing loss can affect people of all ages, for different reasons. However, aging is a primary cause of hearing loss. Data from the United States Census Bureau’s show that there are almost 77 million Baby Boomers, people 55-75 years old. Many of the people in this age group experience some degree of hearing loss. No matter what a person’s age, hearing loss affects more than just the ability to hear. Hearing loss that goes untreated can be devastating to a person. While treating it can have many benefits such as social benefits, emotional benefits, cognitive health benefits and financial benefits.
Causes of Hearing Loss
In the United States studies show that approximately 40-48 million Americans report some degree of hearing difficulty or loss. Of these people, approximately one-third of them haven’t sought treatment. It is important to first understand what is causing the hearing loss. It could be a temporary condition such as a medical condition of having too much ear wax in the ear canal, or a noise-induced hearing loss such as recent exposure to very loud noise from a concert. It can be an acquired hearing loss where slow hearing loss begins at birth. Or it can be a congenital hearing loss where it was present a birth due to genetic factors or a birth injury. It also depends which part of the ear is disrupted or damaged. This is why seeking medical advice to see if the hearing loss can be treated is so important. It could be a simple fix such as using prescription ear drops to treat a temporary medical condition. It could mean wearing a hearing aid to improve partial hearing loss. Or it could mean surgery to repair damage in the ear. Whatever the cause, it is crucially important to treat a person’s hearing loss.
Social Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Hearing loss that goes untreated can affect a person’s social life. It can affect the ability to stay in touch with family and friends. By treating a person’s hearing loss, social benefits are vastly improved. They will have improved communication which will help keep them active and from becoming isolated. People with hearing loss may be embarrassed to be out in public or at social functions, for fear that they will not be able to hear others and participate in conversation. A person’s social decline can lead to emotional problems.
Emotional Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
There are many emotional benefits to treating a person’s hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss can cause a person to be stressed by not being able to do many of the activities that they used to do or communicate the way they are used to. They may have a hard time enjoying watching television or listening to the radio. They may be sad or angry that they cannot carry on a phone conversation or have a video chat with friends or loved ones. They may not want to attend social functions for fear of not being able to hear well and participate in conversations. This can lead to anxiety, especially social anxiety. And it can also lead to a person becoming depressed. These mental and emotional diagnoses can, most likely, be avoided by treating the hearing loss.
Cognitive Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
People with hearing loss can also experience cognitive health problems. Hearing loss can affect a person’s brain and overall function. Untreated hearing loss can cause cognitive decline such as memory loss, judgement difficulty, learning difficulty, and more. One major cognitive health benefit of having hearing loss treated is avoiding dementia. A study by John Hopkins Medicine and the National Institute of Aging suggests that people with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia than people who retain their hearing or have their hearing loss treated. And this can lead to people becoming socially isolated.
Financial Benefits for Treating Hearing Loss
Finally, there are financial benefits for people who treat their hearing loss. People who can hear without impairment are more aware at work and of their work environment. They are more productive in their work. This leads to having the ability to earn more than their fellow workers who have untreated hearing loss.
The Hearing Doctor
All in all, treating hearing loss is of utmost importance. Seeking treating for hearing loss can help alleviate or improve other areas of your life. There are many social benefits, emotional benefits, cognitive health benefits and financial benefits to treating hearing loss and living a more abundant and prosperous life. If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing and struggle with communication, contact us today. We provide comprehensive hearing health services and we’re here to help!