Everybody begins to lose a little bit of their hearing as they age; it’s completely natural. However, just because it happens doesn’t mean you’re doomed to lose it completely. When you catch it early on and have a doctor treat it, hearing loss doesn’t have to put a damper on your well-being. You should know how untreated hearing loss can impact your quality of life. Take care of your aural health!
Your ears aren’t just for hearing; the inner ear is also responsible for your balance. If your ears aren’t doing well, you may experience loss of equilibrium as well as hearing loss. Loss of hearing often goes hand in hand with feeling unsteady on your feet and falling down more often.
Hearing loss can lead to decreased brain function when left untreated. The longer you go without seeing an audiologist, the more likely you are to develop memory issues (and in later stages, dementia). People with hearing loss experience age-related cognitive decline at a much quicker pace than people with normal hearing.
It’s a sad chain of dominoes. You can’t hear your friends’ conversations, so you don’t get together with them as often, and you end up alone at home all day. You keep asking your family to repeat themselves, but they get annoyed at how often you have to ask, so you just stop contributing to the conversation. When you can’t hear clearly, you tend to isolate yourself from situations that highlight your hearing loss, which leads to feelings of listlessness and depression.
The Americans with Disabilities Act recognizes hearing loss as a disability. But if you don’t realize you’re losing your hearing or if you don’t seek treatment, you’re not eligible for protections under the ADA. Loss of hearing can impact your ability to do your job—and if you’re not able to do your job, you’re at risk of losing it.
If you’re losing your hearing, don’t fret, but don’t put off a visit to the audiologist, either. Untreated hearing loss can impact your quality of life beyond not being able to hear the TV! When you take care of your ears, the rest of your body benefits, too.