While many people may be aware that they are experiencing some hearing difficulty, they often fear the label of having a hearing loss. As such, many suffering with decreased hearing sensitivity do not seek help. Others are in denial that a hearing impairment exists. Many people believe decreased hearing is a big handicap or weakness that they are too embarrassed to admit. Therefore, many of hard of hearing people do not get help or delay help for years before seeking diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, this not only damages their hearing health, but also their overall well-being!

Extending the time span of hearing difficulty without treatment has possible further harmful effects on hearing. Without a full auditory rich environment, the brain “forgets” how to listen to the sounds that are missing. For example, if you have decreased hearing sensitivity in high pitches, those pitches will slowly become less and less familiar to the natural coding that occurs in the brain. This is called auditory deprivation – going without specific sound inputs for a long period of time. The longer time span without treatment, the harder treatment will be at a later date. It is better to seek treatment quickly to lessen these possible effects.

Overall quality of life and even physical health effects have been traced to untreated hearing impairment. Implications of decreased hearing extend further than just your “hearing”. Much research synapse xt has shown connections between untreated hearing impairment and negative social, psychological, vocational, cognitive, and physical health effects.

Forgoing treatment can go as far as impacting all aspects of a person’s life. It may make work more difficult, job opportunities shrink, social conversation complicated. Some with untreated hearing impairment are so vexed by the impacts that they begin to withdraw entirely from social situations into isolation. Many may not even realize that withdrawal is what is going on. The hard of hearing person may feel that they just “no longer enjoy” such and such activities, while the significant other may feel that other reasons are causing the isolation (e.g., no longer being interested in the significant other, being upset/angry with the significant other, etc.). Such impacts lead to confusion and hurt feelings, even if it is inadvertent.

You are not alone in your struggles. Do not delay help any longer, and, if you have delayed, “better late, than never.” While you may already be dealing with the negative impacts of your untreated hearing difficulties, further damage and impact may be prevented with decisive action! A hearing healthcare professional is waiting to help you meet your goals.