For someone who has never experienced a hearing loss, it can be easy to take the sounds we hear every day for granted. The longer someone waits to seek a solution and correct their hearing, the higher their chances of developing tinnitus, decreased sociability, and an increased rate of cognitive decline.
There are a lot of different elements that weigh into someone's decision when buying a hearing aid, including the type of hearing loss
, the features, size, and price of the device itself. Some individuals choose to delay the process or shrug it off to the back of mind until it gets to a point where they're forced to act on it. Unfortunately, sometimes that moment of action comes too late. In these cases, we ask ourselves – what is the cost of not treating hearing loss
Increased Chance of Tinnitus
When your brain isn’t processing sound normally, it can begin to make up its own noises. This can result in an uncomfortable ringing sound in an individual's ears all throughout their day. While it may seem like just an annoyance, tinnitus can lead to increased stress or insomnia. Hearing aids can help ease tinnitus symptoms
, leading to a better quality of life, better sleep, and less stress.
Lessened Social Engagement
A study conducted by the National Council on Aging Seniors Research Group found that adults over 50 with an untreated hearing loss had a greater likeliness of depression, anxiety, and paranoia than those who wear hearing aids
In addition, those who didn’t wear hearing aids were less likely to participate in organized social activities. As James Firman, EdD, the president and CEO of the National Council on the Aging, put it, “This study debunks the myth that untreated hearing loss is a harmless condition.”
Lack of Balance
Another study by Dr. Frank Lins of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Institute of Aging showed that hearing loss also significantly increased the risk of falls in the individuals studied. They found that even mild hearing loss
tripled the risk of accidental falls. In fact, there was a 140 percent increase in risk for each additional ten decibels of hearing loss.
Sometimes the small size of hearing aids leads people to think that the cost associated with them is too great, but the truth is that there is much more to the value of a hearing aid than the number shows. It's hard to put a price on the ability to hear the world around you.