Nearly 38 million Americans over the age of 18 live with some degree of hearing loss. Unfortunately, a large percentage of those suffer in silence, often waiting an average of seven to 10 years before seeking medical guidance. The reason for delaying treatment varies from patient to patient—but many people assume hearing loss is just a natural side effect of aging, while others believe their condition isn’t severe enough to be treated.
Only one in three adults with hearing loss over the age of 70 has ever tried hearing aids; in the younger age bracket of adults aged 20 to 69 with hearing loss, the number drops even further—only 16% have used hearing aids. Unfortunately, there are real health hazards associated with leaving hearing loss untreated.
If you’re experiencing hearing loss, we can help. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (781) 769-8866.
Learn more about the risks of leaving hearing loss untreated below.
Health effects of untreated hearing loss
According to a study by Hearing Health Collaborative that surveyed adults between the ages of 50 and 80, hearing loss has been linked to a variety of other poor health outcomes, including a 23% increased risk of depression, 6% increased risk of Type II diabetes, and a 10% increased risk of dementia.
Many with hearing loss withdraw socially due to an inability to keep up with conversations in a noisy group setting; this can lead to further social isolation and an increased risk of depression and anxiety. People with hearing loss are also at risk for cognitive decline, due to a lack of stimulation that normal hearing provides. Over time, this lack of auditory activity can lead to memory loss and even dementia.
The same study found that living with hearing loss is also linked to an 18% increased risk of falling. As you walk, your ears take in stimuli that help the brain know where the body is moving in physical space. Without that high-quality input, people with hearing loss are at a greater risk of losing their balance and falling. Hearing loss can also create environmental hazards, increasing your risk of personal injury while you navigate busy city crosswalks or crowded parking lots.
The great news is that many patients suffering from hearing loss would benefit greatly from hearing aids, and there are no health risks associated with wearing them.
Interested in treating your hearing loss? Call us to schedule an appointment at (781) 769-8866.