Hearing loss is often a gradual process, and as a result, many of us don’t realize that our hearing is deteriorating. When you’re used to being able to hear everything around you, it can be incredibly distressing to be told that your hearing is getting worse. The good news is that there are treatments for hearing loss, and this is why regular hearing tests and appointments are recommended. If hearing loss is left untreated, there can be risks.
The hidden risks of hearing loss
Many of us are guilty of ignoring the early signs of hearing loss. We turn the TV up without thinking twice, and we assume that other people must be talking quietly or mumbling when it becomes harder to follow conversations or keep up in meetings. The truth is that hearing loss is very common, especially as you get older. As most people experience gradual hearing loss, it can often be easier to ignore symptoms of hearing loss or hope that they improve magically. While it can be upsetting to hear that you have hearing loss, it’s better to detect problems and intervene early.
If hearing loss goes undetected and untreated, it can contribute to a host of problems, many of which represent hidden risks. Here are some of the problems that can be faced by people who experience hearing loss:
- Anxiety and isolation: If you’re finding it increasingly difficult to hear people when they talk to you, or you’re struggling to order in a restaurant or strike up a conversation with a shop assistant when you go to the store, this can make even the simplest tasks more daunting. You might start to get anxious about going out or meeting up with friends, and this could result in you becoming isolated and withdrawn.
- Relationships: Communication is key when it comes to the relationships you have with your partner, your family, your friends and your colleagues. If you’re missing nuggets of information, or you’re nodding along to a conversation you can’t really hear, this could put a strain on your relationships and cause you to feel like you’re missing out.
- Mental health: We tend to take our hearing for granted. When you can hear perfectly, you assume that you’ll always be able to hear without any problems. Unfortunately, many of us experience hearing loss, especially as we approach our senior years. Hearing loss can be tough to take, and in some cases, it can impact confidence and wellbeing.
- Safety: Our senses enable us to appreciate the world around us, but they also play a vital role in keeping us safe and alerting us to danger. If you can hear a car approaching, or a siren, this enables you to take swift action. If you’re struggling to hear, you may find that you’re more vulnerable.
- Cognitive performance: Studies suggest that hearing loss can contribute to accelerated cognitive decline and loss of memory.
- Fatigue: If you’re finding it hard to hear, you have to put more effort into listening, and this can cause fatigue. If you’re concentrating all the time, and you’re spending all your energy on trying to keep up in meetings, this can be exhausting.
When to seek help
Hearing loss can be temporary, but if you’ve started to gradually crank up the volume on the radio, or you’re finding it increasingly tough to keep track in conversations, it’s wise to seek professional advice. It’s very common for hearing to decline gradually, and often, this means that people don’t go for tests until there is a major difference in their ability to hear. Intervening early can help to protect your hearing and also enable you to hear better, reducing the risk of the symptoms and signs listed above. If your tests indicate that your hearing is declining, there are options out there, and a hearing instrument specialist or audiologist will be able to discuss treatments with you. Wearing hearing aids can help to make you feel more confident, enrich your social life and keep you safe.
If you’re having trouble hearing, don’t put off seeking help. The sooner you ask for advice, the better. If you do have signs of hearing loss, our experienced team at one of our convenient locations can help. Hearing aids can help to eliminate hidden risks and improve your self-esteem and quality of life. If you have any questions or queries, or you’d like more information about hearing aids, why not give us a call today at 1-888-553-7520.