If you think hearing loss is just being a little “hard of hearing,” then you’re sadly mistaken. It can have massive repercussions for the rest of your life, especially if it goes untreated.
Hearing loss affects a substantial proportion of older adults. The machinery in the inner ear begins to break down, and the brain can’t interpret the sounds as well as it did when it was young. A person with hearing loss can then find it challenging to hear conversations around them, leading to all kinds of problems.
In this article, we’re going to spell out some of the damage untreated hearing loss can do to your life. Hopefully, it’ll motivate you to go and see your ENT doctor.
Hearing Loss Leads To Tinnitus
Tinnitus is perhaps the most irritating condition out there. People characterize it as a persistent buzzing or ringing in the ears with no external source. For some, the noises come and go, whereas for others, they’re a permanent feature of their lives.
Research indicates that people with hearing loss are at a much higher risk of developing tinnitus. The reasons for this aren’t entirely clear. Doctors, however, believe that it has to do with a lack of stimulation of the auditory cortex. Damage to the ear means that it cannot transmit incoming sounds to the brain. The region of brain tissue responsible for interpreting sounds, therefore, starts hallucinating its own, and the patient begins to experience annoying whining.
Fortunately, you can treat tinnitus by wearing hearing aids. Assistive hearing devices restore communication between the outside world and the brain, helping to stimulate the auditory cortex. If you have tinnitus, then visit your doctor today.
Hearing Loss Can Lead To Social Isolation
Hearing loss can often lead to another problem: social isolation. A person who can’t hear finds it very difficult to communicate with the people around them and will sometimes retreat into their homes. This behavior, in turn, increases the likelihood of depression. It is not good for people to spend long periods by themselves, especially if they’re naturally outgoing.
Hearing Loss Can Prevent You From Getting Promotions
People with hearing loss typically earn less at work than their colleagues. Researchers think the reason is that they are unable to pick up on nuances in conversations at work. Leaving out key details makes it more difficult for them to ingratiate themselves with their superiors and that they will make mistakes. These effects then combine to result in lower overall pay – not good.
Hearing Loss Can Put You In Harm’s Way
Finally, there’s the fact that hearing loss can put you in harm’s way.
If you can’t hear sounds in your immediate environment, you’re much more likely to put yourself in harm’s way unnecessarily. For instance, you might not be able to hear the sound of approaching traffic.
Hearing loss, therefore, is about much more than just being a little “hard of hearing.” It can have a real impact on your well being and life chances.