Hearing loss is one of the most common afflictions in the United States. In fact, one in eight people in the country aged 12 years or older live with hearing loss in both ears. And while there are a slew of different causes for hearing loss, one notable reason is that hearing loss was not treated when it was still manageable. Indeed, people seem to minimize the seriousness of hearing loss, which leads them to let it be until the problem gets worse. Considering how serious this problem is, we thought it would be useful to put together a brief article discussing what happens if hearing loss is left untreated. If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, read on as we break down what happens if hearing loss isn’t treated.
Can Untreated Hearing Loss Lead to More Serious Issues Down the Line?
Your ears collect sound, which then travels to your brain. Your brain interprets the sound, but if you don’t treat hearing loss, your brain does not receive as many sounds. The untreated hearing loss leads to a condition called auditory deprivation or depriving your brain of sound stimuli. The lack of stimuli causes areas of your brain to shrink or atrophy, making those areas less able to perform their intended function. It’s the classic ‘use it or lose it’ syndrome. Even when the sounds reach your brain, if the areas have atrophied due to lack of use, the brain may not be able to adequately process the sounds.
How Do You Treat Hearing Loss?
If you have a hearing problem, what is the best way to find out if it’s truly a problem? The best way is to have a hearing test and a hearing evaluation. You have probably heard this advice before, but you may not know what it entails. A hearing test measures your threshold of hearing at various frequencies, while a hearing evaluation takes into account the type and severity of your hearing loss.
Hearing healthcare professionals have experience dealing with a variety of people, and they can recommend the most effective hearing device or form of treatment for you. Based on your hearing evaluation, the audiologist may recommend a hearing aid or another assistive listening device as part of a comprehensive hearing loss treatment plan. If you’re a little worried about this, we recommend that you do some research and learn about the various options so you’ll be able to make the best decision for your lifestyle.
We hope this article has helped you gain a better understanding of what happens if hearing loss is left untreated. As you can see, you’ll want to take this issue seriously, as failing to do so will lead to more severe problems down the line. If you’ve noticed inklings of hearing loss, we suggest that you reach out to hearing care specialists as soon as possible. Doing so will not only prevent hearing issues down the line but will also allow you to improve the current state of your hearing while the problems have yet to progress.
It’s crucial that you get ahead of any hearing problems before they get worse. Get a free hearing test in Lexington at Hear More Associates if you want to learn more about your ear health. We are the most trusted hearing care specialists, so we can discuss the best care options for you. Call us at 781-863-8282 for more information.