Hearing loss that stays untreated could leave you with severe consequences to your health and quality of life. Every time you hear something, your brain gets exercise. Not receiving help for hearing loss can worsen a patient’s cognitive performance because it shrinks and atrophies the brain. More cases of falls due to imbalance, hospitalizations for these outcomes, and a high risk of depression and dementia caused by social isolation - this may occur due to the challenges that come with communicating while having hearing problems.
Your ability to appreciate TV, movies, music, and nature can be futile due to difficulties with hearing. You’ll begin to feel excluded. The inability to hear can also throw you into an unsafe environment. If you can’t hear a car or emergency vehicle driving in your direction, that can put you and the driver at risk of a collision. Completing tasks at work might be more challenging, and missteps can reoccur. As a result, your income can be affected.
It’s common for people with hearing loss to be in denial over their hearing problems. Instead of seeking help immediately, they’ll ask others to repeat themselves or raise the volume level to whatever they are listening to. Other practical reasons why people may not seek help immediately, or at all, is because they cannot afford it or don’t have health insurance.
A network of support from family, friends, and healthcare providers is necessary for starting their lives toward better hearing.
Things You Can Do for a Loved One with Hearing Loss
Simply be available. This person might need you to listen to their frustrations about hearing and communicating, or maybe there was an incident they need to vent about. You could “be their ears” in social situations if they mishear something or completely miss out on what was said. Be patient and supportive, even if you have no clue what they are experiencing with their struggles.
Point Out that their Hearing Loss also Affects You.
Give a gentle reminder about how you and others who interact with them are also affected by their hearing loss. Whether it’s the need to repeat themselves or safety issues - the inability to hear warning sirens, oncoming vehicles, or news/weather alerts.
How You Can Help a Loved One with their Hearing
Don’t Delay Receiving Help
Like any health issue, the longer you wait to seek a diagnosis and treatment, the more challenging it will be to treat. Untreated hearing loss becomes progressive, which can mean expensive medical care or no treatment options.
Contact Northumberland Hearing Center for a hearing evaluation and consultation.