You get your oil changed at Greulich’s Automotive Repair every 5,000 miles, do your spring cleaning every May and get a dental cleaning every six months, so why aren’t you getting regular hearing checkups?
Hearing loss develops slowly over time, meaning you may not realize you have it until it’s at a stage that’s difficult to treat. This is why getting your hearing checked regularly is essential. Below we review why.
On Average, People Wait too Long
According to Consumer Reports, approximately 30% of people have gone more than a decade without getting their hearing tested or have never had it tested at all.
In addition, those who do find out they have hearing loss wait an average of 10 years to seek help. Can you think of any other conditions that you would wait that long to treat?
What You Risk by Waiting
Untreated hearing loss is linked to a lower quality of life and poor health.
A 2011 study by Johns Hopkins found that older adults with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia than those without. In fact, they found that…
- Those with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia.
- Those with moderate hearing loss are three times as likely to develop dementia.
- Those with severe hearing loss are five times as likely to develop dementia.
Another study from Johns Hopkins published in 2013 found that greater hearing loss was associated with higher rates of self-reported falls over 12 months. Those with mild hearing loss had three times the risk of falling compared to someone with normal hearing.
Researchers hypothesize there may be a common pathology that underlies both hearing and balance problems, that hearing loss decreases awareness of one’s environment or that straining to hear utilizes cognitive resources normally used for keeping you upright.
A study from 2009 by the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam found that hearing problems are associated with higher distress, depression and loneliness in young and middle-age adults.
“The findings underline the need to seriously address the adverse effects of limited hearing among young and middle-aged adults both in future research and in clinical practice,” said study authors.
For more information about the effects of untreated hearing loss or to schedule a hearing test, call the experts at Arizona Desert ENT Specialists.