An estimated 17% of American adults have a hearing loss. Yet according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), only 1 in 4 of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them. The reasons for not seeking professional help range from affordability, assuming hearing loss is a normal part of aging, being unaware of a loss of hearing, or perceived stigmas surrounding hearing aid use. By highlighting the risks of untreated hearing loss, we hope to encourage more people to get their hearing checked.
Untreated hearing loss can put a strain on relationships at home, work and with friends. Frustrations can be felt on both sides and relationships may start to deteriorate without treatment intervention.
Do you avoid going out because you worry about the potential embarrassment of not hearing others well? Maybe you struggle to concentrate around background noise or you believe you would be judged if you talk about your hearing impairment. These conditions can lead to social isolation, anxiety and ultimately to depression.
If this wasn’t serious enough, there are other risks too…
Yet another John Hopkins study has highlighted that your risk of falls will triple if you have a mild hearing loss and the risks increase as your degree of hearing loss worsens. Further to this, Professor Neil Bhattacharyaat of Harvard Medical School attributes our hearing as having “a tremendous protective role.” He explains that “if you can’t hear well, you lose that crucial warning system that would signal to you that a car or truck is driving up behind you while you’re biking, for example.”
Your hearing loss could be an indicator of an underlying condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. For example, Harvard University found that hearing loss is 54% more likely if you have heart disease, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that hearing loss is twice as common in those with diabetes.
Many of the above mentioned studies go on to show that treating hearing loss with hearing aids helps to mitigate the risks. If you suspect that you may have a hearing loss, please don’t delay seeking treatment. Call Clear Wave Hearing Center on 507-208-7002 or click here to book your hearing check today.