Unfortunate and unpredictable results of untreated hearing loss




“Excuse me?”


“Can you repeat that, please. I can’t understand what you’re saying.”

Aggravating, right? Reductions in hearing acuity is quite frustrating for those with hearing loss as well as everyone around them. In a report published by the Ida Institute, hearing loss ineffective communication, increased feelings of loneliness and relationship strain [1].

Hearing loss is not only an ear issue; it is very much a health issue that has a direct impact on your quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can have long term and permanent consequences. A decrease in hearing sensitivity is closely tied to diminished cognitive function, deteriorating mental health, and even social withdrawal. The connection between hearing loss and psychological disorders have been studied for many years. Several studies have uncovered substantially higher rates of cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression in individuals with untreated hearing loss (and not wearing hearing aids) [2].

A study performed at Johns Hopkins University revealed that cognitive diminishment was more prevalent in seniors suffering from hearing loss. This study uncovered a link between the risk of developing dementia and degrees of hearing loss. People with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia. Adults with moderate hearing impairments are three times more likely; and those with severe hearing loss were surprisingly five times [3].

Hearing care and research professionals have long known the link between cognitive ability and hearing acuity. When listening to a person speak, the brain is computing the sound so that you’re able to understand.  An individual who suffers from untreated hearing loss is striving to comprehend degraded speech signals. Therefore, the brain is forced to work harder to process what it’s hearing. While your brain is busy working to understand incoming speech signals other things like memory and comprehension can suffer.

The good news is hearing loss is manageable and treatable with the help of hearing aids! Those who treat hearing loss early may avoid many of these negative consequences on their health and quality of life. [4] Hearing aids help process incoming sound making it easier for your brain to decipher clearly. More benefits of hearing aids are reduced mental fatigue, improved cognitive function, improved memory, attention and ability to focus [5]. If you’re still not sure about the benefits of hearing aids, see what real hearing aid wearers had to say.     

Hearing care professionals often work together with other medical professionals. If you or someone you care about are experiencing cognitive or emotional difficulties, please schedule a physical exam with your doctor as well as a hearing evaluation with your hearing healthcare professional - click here or call (888) 919-6824 to find a clinic in your area.


By Starkey Canada