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Untreated Hearing Loss

The consequences can be severe but treatment offers hope!

Untreated hearing loss has been linked to disabling medical conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and cardiovascular disease. Studies and observational evidence indicate that untreated hearing loss can damage your physical, emotional, and social health and well being.

Your family, friends, and others will not escape these changes. In a very real sense they will share the unwanted consequences of your hearing loss.

The good news is that the worst effects of hearing loss can be moderated with hearing aids, cochlear implants and post-fitting rehabilitation. When people with mild-to-profound hearing loss use hearing aids, they experience less depression, less anxiety, and less emotional stress… while showing significant improvements in their quality of life and well-being.

Given the undesirable consequences of untreated hearing loss, it would be a good idea to get a hearing exam by a well qualified Audiologist, especially if you suspect that you are developing hearing problems. Being more safe than sorry has real meaning when the consequences of inaction are potentially so severe.

See our Brochure on Untreated Hearing Loss, here

Hearing Health

The previous Hearing Health article discussed the process of hearing and the causes of hearing loss. This article will address the consequences of untreated hearing loss. You may be surprised to learn that untreated jurassic adventure for sale hearing loss causes serious medical, emotional, and lifestyle problems. Future articles will discuss these consequences in more depth.

“There are consequences for everything we do..or don’t do!”

The Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss

Almost 35 million people in the U.S. know they have a hearing problem, but half of them have never had their hearing evaluated by a professional. The problem is that hearing loss is more than a personal nuisance; there are serious consequences to ignoring hearing loss, including negative medical, emotional, and lifestyle changes.

Medical and Emotional Consequences

A growing body of scientific research indicates that hearing loss can lead to or enhance the effects of serious medical and emotional conditions.

Auditory Deprivation: People with hearing loss transmit incomplete signals to the brain, effectively “starving” the brain and leading to auditory deprivation. Prolonged auditory deprivation may cause your brain to forget how to interpret hearing impulses, leading to decreasing communication and other problems.

Dementia and Alzheimer disease: People with hearing problems are more likely to develop reasoning disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a recent study from the National Institute of Aging.

Depression: Research shows that people with untreated hearing loss are more likely to feel depressed, anxious, and alone. Research also incicates that treatment with hearing aids can significantly improve a person’s quality of life and well-being.

Lifestyle Consequences

Untreated hearing loss leads to serious negative lifestyle changes, which often effect family, friends, and others. These changes include threats to personal safety; irritability; pessimism; anger; fatigue; tension; stress; isolation; withdrawal; and diminished overall health.

The Bottom Line

  • Untreated hearing loss can damage your physical, emotional, and social health and well-being. This will also distress your life companion, family, and friends.
  • The effects of hearing loss can be diminished with current technology (digital hearing aids, cochlear implants) and post-fitting rehabilitation.
  • A hearing exam by a well-qualified Audiologist may reveal serious underlying medical conditions before you actually have any symptoms. Early detection is often critical for optimal recovery from these medical problems.

Should You Get a Hearing Exam?

The following questions from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders will help you determine if you need to have your hearing evaluated by a certified audiologist:

1. Do you have a problem hearing over the telephone? Is your volume control set to maximum?

2. Do you have trouble following conversations when two or more people talk at the same time?

3. Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?

4. Do you strain to understand conversations?

5. Do you have trouble hearing in noisy backgrounds?

6. Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?

7. Do people seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)?

8. Do you misunderstand and respond incorrectly to what others are saying?

9. Do you have trouble understanding conversations with women and children?

10. Do people get annoyed because you misunderstand what they say?

If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, you should have your hearing evaluated further by a certified audiologist. This evaluation is simple and painless but could mark the beginning of a better life.

An Interactive Hearing Test

This hearing check is presented by the Better Hearing Institute and based on the Revised American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) five-minute hearing check, here. The test is designed to help you better understand how serious your hearing loss is (relative to a larger group with measured hearing loss), and to determine whether or not you need further help.

Baby Boomers in Bend Oregon Should Pay Attention: Hearing Loss and Dementia ..Linked!

The road ahead can be a hazardous trip for those unwilling to pay attention to the signs…

A ground-breaking study indicates that people who experience significant hearing loss as they age may also be at higher risk of developing dementia.

The study was conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore in partnership with the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Frank Lin and others found that older adults with hearing loss were more likely to develop cognitive decline over time than others who didn’t experience hearing loss as they aged. Cognitive function is an intellectual process that allows us to become aware of, perceive, or comprehend ideas. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering. While hearing loss is not a “sentence” of creeping dementia, the study found that people with severe hearing loss were five times more likely to develop cognitive problems. A disturbing finding of the study indicates that even mild hearing loss doubles the risk for serious cognitive impairment.

Dr. Frank Lin, an assistant professor of otolaryngology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins, directed the study: “For many years, hearing loss in older adults has been perceived as an unfortunate but inconsequential part of aging. Our research is now demonstrating that hearing loss doesn’t just affect a person’s quality of life. It may also lead to a decline in cognitive function.” Dr. Lin believes that the neurological stress imposed by hearing loss, such as the constant effort required to decode conversations, may ultimately take its toll. “We also know that people with hearing loss tend to avoid socializing,” he says, “and that social isolation is a risk factor for dementia.”

The good news is that social isolation and the risk of dementia can be greatly diminished or even eliminated through proper treatment. Hearing aids fit and programmed to your individual hearing loss profile can provide auditory stimulation, which not only allows you to communicate effectively, but may also contribute to delaying or even preventing diseases like dementia.

Focus on Mental Health

Raising Awareness of the Link between Depression and Unaddressed Hearing Loss

Pacific Northwest Audiology is joining the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) in raising awareness of the link between depression and untreated hearing loss in recognition of World Mental Health Day (October 10), National Depression Screening Day® (October 11), and Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 7-13). Research shows that hearing loss frequently co-exists with depression and/or anxiety, and that people with untreated hearing loss may be at an increased risk of depression. Pacific Northwest Audiology is urging people within the Bend and Central Oregon community to take the Across America Hearing Check Challenge at inflatable rock climbing wall, a free online hearing check that lets people quickly and confidentially determine if they need a comprehensive hearing evaluation by a certified Audiologist. To support these awareness efforts, Pacific Northwest Audiology is holding free hearing screenings through October. Residents of Bend and surrounding communities can visit our office for comprehensive audiological evaluations. You can self-book an online appointment if you wish. helicopter game sale Otherwise you can call us at 541-678-5698 and mention free hearing evaluation. You can read the full contents of the Newsletter here. Hearing loss and depression flyer