What Are The Consequences Of Untreated Hearing Loss?

What Are The Consequences Of Untreated Hearing Loss?

04/12/2022 | Hearing Loss, Hearing Test, Patient Resources

With so many people in Alaska suffering from a hearing loss, it’s astounding to know that many will never seek help to treat it.

Many think that hearing loss only affects their ears. Turning up the volume or asking people to speak louder is only a temporary solution. The truth is, hearing loss is a serious medical condition that can have severe ramifications on other aspects of your health and well-being.

It’s common for people to visit the optometrist or the dentist regularly, but when faced with the idea of visiting an audiologist, most resist. We are always trying to correct this.

Spreading awareness of hearing loss and related conditions is part of our duty to our community and beyond, so here’s what you should know about the adverse effects of untreated hearing loss.

Alaska - Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss

Conditions That Stem From Untreated Hearing Loss

Tinnitus – Long-term hearing loss weakens your brain’s ability to process sound. If it’s not receiving sound signals, it will create its own sound – tinnitus results in a ringing or buzzing noise. We can treat this, but prevention is still the best course of action.

Strained Relationships – Whether at work or home, hearing loss can put a lot of pressure on a relationship. Frustration on both sides can result in withdrawal, and in the case of workplace challenges, it may result in a person quitting or being let go. More importantly, you may alienate your friends, colleagues, and loved ones.

Cognitive Decline – Extended hearing loss with no treatment can start to affect other aspects of your health as well. Depression, isolation, and other more serious mental issues can arise. Your brain is like a muscle – healthy hearing keeps the brain stimulated and strengthened, so when hearing loss occurs, your brain loses strength, leading to a decline in cognitive function, which is linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Are You or A Loved One Ready to Address Your Hearing Loss and Start Living a More Fulfilled Life?

What Are The Treatment Options?

Once we have determined that hearing loss is present, there are a few actions we can take.

The most common is getting fit for a hearing aid. This process starts with a comprehensive hearing assessment to determine the level of hearing loss and its origins.

We must have all the information to diagnose your issue correctly and arrive at an optimal solution. Sometimes hearing loss is caused by a physical blockage. After it’s removed, the patient’s hearing is restored almost immediately.

Therefore, we always recommend partnering with a professional audiologist instead of turning to the internet for answers.

There are many opinions on how to treat hearing loss, but the only way to determine whether you have a hearing loss — and if so, to what degree — is through a comprehensive hearing assessment with an audiologist.

If you already have tinnitus, then we can help there as well. With the use of noise-masking technology, we can mask the sound your brain is creating to compensate.

What To Do If You Suspect You Have A Hearing Loss

The first thing to do is to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment. This painless and non-invasive procedure gives us all the information we need to diagnose your issue.

We test for how your ear listens and what types of sounds you struggle with. We also do a physical examination to ensure no fluid buildups or growths are present that may be restricting sound waves from entering your ear canal.

Armed with this data, we can develop a long-term plan to improve your hearing and protect it from any further damage. If you have any other questions, we are always available by phone for a no-obligation chat.

Having a local audiologist on your side will ensure the longevity of your hearing. It affords you peace of mind knowing that we’re on your side and we’re always looking out for you.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Dr. Emily E McMahan

Dr. McMahan attended the University of Cincinnati where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2009. She furthered her professional education by obtaining her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in Philadelphia in 2013. She completed her residency in Anchorage and has been applying her expertise to her patients in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Whether you need hearing testing, hearing aids, or assistance with managing tinnitus in your daily lives, Dr. McMahan is qualified to assist you!

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