Hearing loss is something that affects a fairly large amount of the population, and it isn’t uncommon for hearing loss to go untreated for long periods of time. In fact, studies have shown that only 3 out of the 10 percent of the population that report having hearing loss actually wear hearing aids. Despite the overwhelming evidence of how untreated hearing loss can damage a person’s quality of life, it often takes around 7 years for an individual to seek treatment. The main cause for reluctance is the difficulty most people experience when they try to find a treatment plan for their hearing loss.
One of the most important aspects of life that untreated hearing loss can damage is an individual’s relationships. It’s common for people with hearing loss to experience feelings of alienation from their peers when their hearing loss goes untreated, and it’s easy to see why. Hearing loss can make it difficult to engage in conversations and communicate freely, which can often lead to a withdrawal from social situations and the deterioration of relationships. Many people report that they actively avoid going out and participating in social activities because of their struggles with communication, instead, isolating themselves from situations that they used to enjoy. This isolation can encourage feelings of depression and further damage an individual’s family life. The stress that hearing loss puts on an individual and their family can escalate over time until it creates a rift in even the strongest relationships, sometimes permanently damaging a family’s dynamic.
Safety is a factor
Another way that hearing loss can hurt an individual is through their safety or lack thereof. Hearing loss not only affects a person’s balance, increasing the risk of dangerous falls but can also harm their independence. Fire alarms, doorbells, glass breaking, or any signs of danger go unheard by people with hearing loss, and can easily turn a safe environment into one filled with potential danger. Even calling for help can be hard for an individual with hearing loss if they are unable to communicate over the phone. Many people with untreated hearing loss express feelings of paranoia and anxiety while in their own homes because of their inability to hear signs of danger, which makes it hard for them to function on their own.
Untreated hearing loss can be detrimental to many aspects of an individual’s life because of the way it limits the ability to communicate and recognize potential threats. Overall, people who use hearing aids report that their quality of life is greatly improved by their decision to find a treatment plan, and are able to connect more easily with their loved ones and feel less anxiety when alone. Getting the right hearing aids may be a long and daunting process, but avoiding the repercussions of untreated hearing loss is worth the hassle