Did you know that you should get a hearing test every year once you reach the age of 55? While getting an annual hearing test may not seem very exciting – or even necessary, if you feel that you have good hearing – it is an important step in ensuring that you stay healthy and receive any treatment that is needed.
Annual hearing tests are crucial because your hearing affects more than only your ability to hear and understand. For years, research has shown that untreated hearing loss can have serious negative effects on your social life, your emotional health, and your mental health.
This may seem obvious, but if you have untreated hearing loss, your social life will suffer. You will not be able to properly hear and understand others in a variety of settings – your partner or spouse at home, your grandchildren at family gatherings, your friends at social activities and events, or your coworkers at the office. Research has found that hearing loss has a profound impact on your social life on a daily basis.
When hearing loss affects your social life, it becomes more difficult to maintain strong relationships, as you are unable to effectively communicate. Relationships with your partner, family, and friends may become strained. You may even decide to withdraw from social situations due to the difficulty of trying to hear and understand.
You may also experience problems in the workplace due to ineffective communication. In fact, a study by the Better Hearing Institute found that untreated hearing loss can result in a loss of as much as $30,000 in annual income due to its effects on productivity, performance, and career success.
It is apparent that untreated hearing loss can have a significant effect on your social life. Therefore it is no surprise that this can also negatively impact your emotional health. If you find that your personal relationships with friends and family, your social life, and your career are suffering due to hearing loss, you are likely to feel frustrated, embarrassed, angry, sad, or depressed. You can also feel isolated as it becomes more difficult and exhausting for you to interact with others.
Researchers have found that untreated hearing loss often contributes to a host of emotional and mental health issues. If you have untreated hearing loss, you are also likely to feel fatigued from the strain of trying to hear and understand sound throughout the day.
Multiple studies have found that untreated hearing loss is strongly linked to numerous mental health conditions. Those with hearing loss are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and dementia. In fact, one study found that among men with moderate to severe hearing loss, the risk of cognitive decline was respectively 42 and 54 percent higher than those without hearing loss.
When hearing loss is treated, however, the risk for these mental health issues lessens. For example, a recent study found that using hearing aids in later life slowed or delayed the onset of cognitive decline and dementia.
The research makes it clear: getting an annual hearing test and taking appropriate steps to treat hearing loss is essential. By diagnosing and treating hearing loss, you can prevent these problems in your social life, as well as protect your emotional and mental health.
If you would like more information, or if you are ready to schedule your next hearing test, we welcome you to contact our audiology office today.