Cedar Audiology Associates - Cleveland, OH

We all put things off, regularly talking ourselves out of challenging or unpleasant activities in favor of something more pleasant or fun. Distractions abound as we tell ourselves that we will sooner or later get around to whatever we’re currently working hard to avoid.

Often times, procrastination is fairly harmless. We might desire to clear out the basement, for example, by throwing out or donating the things we seldom use. A clean basement sounds good, but the work of actually hauling things to the donation center is not so pleasant. In the interest of short-term pleasure, it’s very easy to find countless alternatives that would be more pleasant—so you put it off.

In other cases, procrastination is not so benign, and when it pertains to hearing loss, it could be downright harmful. While no one’s idea of a good time is having a hearing test, current research suggests that untreated hearing loss has severe physical, mental, and social consequences.

To understand why, you need to start with the effects of hearing loss on the brain itself. Here’s a well-known comparison: if any of you have ever broken a bone, let’s say your leg, you are aware of what will happen just after you take the cast off. You’ve lost muscle size and strength from inactivity, because if you don’t regularly make use of your muscles, they get weaker.

The same thing takes place with your brain. If you under-utilize the part of your brain that processes sound, your capacity to process auditory information grows weaker. Scientists even have a name for this: they refer to it as “auditory deprivation.”

Back to the broken leg example. Let’s say you removed the cast from your leg but continued to not make use of the muscles, depending on crutches to get around the same as before. What would happen? Your leg muscles would get progressively weaker. The same occurs with your brain; the longer you go with hearing loss, the a smaller amount of sound stimulation your brain gets, and the worse your hearing gets.

That, in essence, is auditory deprivation, which triggers a host of different disorders the latest research is continuing to uncover. For example, a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University demonstrated that those with hearing loss experience a 40{cdb78ae2d183aa312f4188be7f6bc8f99bbda397365b47ecb6e1dcf848d64ae2} decrease in cognitive function in comparison to those with regular hearing, in combination with an elevated risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

General cognitive decline also triggers substantial mental and social effects. A leading study by The National Council on the Aging (NCOA) detected that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia, and were less likely to partake in social activities, in comparison to those who wear hearing aids.

So what begins as an inconvenience—not having the ability to hear people clearly—leads to a downward spiral that impacts all aspects of your health. The sequence of events is clear: Hearing loss brings about auditory deprivation, which leads to general cognitive decline, which leads to psychological harm, including depression and anxiety, which in the end leads to social isolation, strained relationships, and an increased risk of developing major medical conditions.

The Benefits of Hearing Aids

So that was the bad news. The good news is just as encouraging. Let’s visit the broken leg example one last time. The moment the cast comes off, you begin exercising and stimulating the muscles, and after some time, you recover your muscle mass and strength.

The same process once again applies to hearing. If you heighten the stimulation of sound to your brain with hearing aids, you can recuperate your brain’s ability to process and understand sound. This leads to better communication, better psychological health, and ultimately to better relationships. And, in fact, according to The National Council on the Aging, hearing aid users report improvements in nearly every aspect of their lives.

Are you ready to achieve the same improvement?

Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today