You take your car to Mr. Muffler every 5,000 miles for an oil change, get a teeth cleaning at your dentist every six months and get a physical exam every year, so why aren’t you getting regular hearing checkups?
Hearing loss is common, affecting an estimated 48 million people across the nation. However, only one in five people who could benefit from hearing aids actually seeks treatment, and those who do wait an average of 10 years from their initial diagnosis.
Below we review why you shouldn’t put off getting your hearing tested and hearing loss treated.
The Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss
The biggest reason you should get regular hearing checkups is because left untreated, hearing loss can have serious consequences for your health and quality of life.
Social Isolation, Loneliness & Depression
Researchers working on a study at the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam examined the psychosocial impact of hearing loss in adults under 70. They found that poor hearing is associated with higher rates of distress, depression and loneliness.
One Johns Hopkins study published in 2012 found that hearing loss is significantly associated with a fall-related injury. For every 10 dB increase in hearing loss, there is a 1.4-fold increased risk of falling.
There is a strong link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline. According to a 2011 Johns Hopkins study, those with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia compared to those with normal hearing, those with moderate hearing loss are three times as likely, and those with severe hearing loss are five times as likely.
Yet another Johns Hopkins study found that older adults with hearing loss are more likely to require hospitalizations than peers who have normal hearing. The same study also found that those with untreated hearing loss are 36% more likely to have prolonged stretches of illness or injury, and 57% more likely to experience episodes of deep stress, depression or bad mood.
Hearing Tests Are Quick, Painless & Easy
You can take an online screener to determine if you’re at risk of developing hearing loss; if the screener indicates you may have some level of hearing loss, it’s important to schedule a comprehensive hearing test with an audiologist. Hearing tests typically take around an hour and are painless and non-invasive.
For more information about the risks of untreated hearing loss or to schedule an appointment for a hearing test with an expert audiologist, call Hearing Health Centers today.