Untreated hearing loss has a huge effect on individuals and their families, friends and work-place. With as many as 1 in 6 people in the UK suffering from hearing loss, there are estimated to be more than 11 million sufferers. But evidence shows that people often wait on average 10 years before getting a hearing aid, and many more choose not to wear a hearing aid at all. So, what is the effect of untreated hearing loss?
A study conducted by The National Council on the Ageing investigated the serious and prevalent problem of untreated hearing loss and found that from even the mildest form of hearing loss through to the most severe, people who do not wear hearing aids are more likely to experience the following problems compared to hearing aid wearers:
- sadness and depression
- worry and anxiety
- less social activity
- emotional insecurity
There is also a reported link between untreated hearing loss and dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Hearing aid wearers report the following benefits:
- better family relationships
- improved feelings of self worth
- better mental health
- greater independence
- increased social anxiety
Denial is a huge barrier to wearing hearing aids. Many people who don’t wear hearing aids believe they don’t need them or think that they can manage without them. Another barrier is cost, and many people sadly believe they need to spend thousands on hearing aids. They don’t.
What Can You Do?
Families should be aware of potential consequences of untreated hearing loss so that they can look out for the signs. You could also encourage your family member to get a hearing test or even trial a hearing aid to see the benefit it can make to their life. This doesn’t cost anything with most hearing aid companies and could really make a huge difference to their quality of life.
To arrange a hearing test please call.
Sources: Action on Hearing Loss Statistics, National Council on the Ageing, The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Ageing