Many people are aware that their hearing has deteriorated but are reluctant to seek help. Maybe they don’t want to acknowledge the problem, are embarrassed by what they see as a weakness, or believe that they can ‘get by’ without using a hearing aid. And, unfortunately, too many wait years before getting treatment.
But time and again, research demonstrates the considerable negative social, psychological and cognitive effects of untreated hearing loss. In fact, those who have difficulty hearing can experience such distorted and incomplete information that it seriously impacts their personal lives, at times leading to isolation and withdrawal.
Researchers have said that older adults with mild to moderate hearing loss might expend so much cognitive energy on hearing accurately, their ability to remember spoken language suffers as a result.
Studies have linked untreated hearing loss to:
- Irritability, negativism and anger
- Fatigue, tension, stress and depression
- Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
- Social rejection and loneliness
- Reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
- Impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
- Reduced job performance and earning power
- Diminished psychological and overall health
If you think you or a loved one suffers from hearing loss, don’t delay. Visit a hearing professional and take the first step toward a world of better hearing and continued independent living. Information used in this blog posting is from Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D. and Executive Director for the Better Hearing Institute. To receive literature on hearing loss, its treatment and prevention, call their hotline at 1.800.EAR.WELL.
Hearthstone Senior Living communities hosts monthly hearing clinics and staff is always available to help change batteries.