Five Facts about Untreated Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss RisksAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 900 million people worldwide are at risk for disabling hearing loss by the year 2050. In general, hearing loss develops over time, and if left untreated, it can have a wide range of negative implications on a person’s overall health.
 
Here are five facts about untreated hearing loss:

1. In many cases hearing loss can be prevented or treated. However according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), only 20 percent of people with hearing loss who could benefit from treatment actually seek it.
 
2. Most people with hearing loss wait an average of seven years before seeking any kind of treatment, according to ASHA. This delay in treatment often happens because people don’t realize they have a hearing issue or they may be in denial about their hearing issue. 

3. A Johns Hopkins University study found hearing loss in adults is linked to an increase in cognitive decline. Researchers found that adults with untreated hearing loss were more likely to develop diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

4. Hearing loss can have a negative impact on a person’s mental and social well-being. A study conducted by the National Council on Aging found people with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia, and were also found to be less social.
 
5. Many people don’t realize the connection between balance and hearing. The vestibular system, which gives us our sense of balance, includes the inner ear. People with untreated hearing loss have a decreased awareness of their surroundings, which in turn, increases their risk of falling
 
The Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI) offers a variety of resources and services to help people with hearing loss, including comprehensive hearing evaluations, individualized treatment plans, hearing protection and amplification devices. For more information on PEI’s services, call 215.780.3180.