Why Delaying Hearing Loss Treatment Is a Mistake

female patient and hearing specialist at clinic.

Amidst hectic schedules and the disruptions of events, it’s all too easy to put off essential appointments, such as those with a hearing specialist or for fitting hearing aids. You may even find yourself hesitating to order hearing aids altogether. However, delaying treatment for hearing loss is far more than just a misstep concerning your ears alone.

The link to cognitive decline

Scientists have established a clear connection between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline. This underscores the critical importance of not delaying treatment, as it can have adverse effects on your brain function as well.

The impact on hearing

Naturally, it’s evident that putting off treatment for hearing loss isn’t conducive to preserving your auditory health. By avoiding appointments with a hearing specialist or delaying the purchase of hearing aids, you inadvertently subject your ears to further damage.

You may find yourself continually increasing the volume on your various devices, exacerbating the damage to your ears and accelerating the progression of hearing loss. Wearing a hearing aid can help mitigate this by selectively amplifying specific frequencies, thereby slowing down the advancement of hearing loss.

The connection to cognitive function

Your brain and your hearing are intricately linked. Research indicates that untreated hearing loss can have significant repercussions on cognitive function. Social isolation, often a consequence of diminished hearing, can lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, which in turn can exacerbate cognitive decline over time.

Moreover, prolonged untreated hearing loss prompts the brain to adapt by reallocating resources from auditory processing to other functions, such as visual processing, potentially complicating the restoration of normal hearing function later on.

Navigating neuroplasticity

The brain’s remarkable ability to adapt, known as neuroplasticity, is both a friend and a foe in this scenario. While it allows for flexibility and recovery, prolonged untreated hearing loss can lead to significant rewiring of the brain, making it challenging to revert to previous functionality.

However, it’s not impossible to reverse these effects. Despite previous delays in seeking treatment, utilizing hearing aids as prescribed by a specialist can still yield substantial benefits in both the short and long term.

Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist

While prompt treatment is ideal, it’s never too late to address hearing loss. Scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist as soon as possible is crucial, ensuring you can enjoy improved hearing and cognitive function moving forward.

Find a hearing specialist near you to get on the path to hearing and living well.

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