8 consequences of untreated hearing difficulties

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"by " Albert Stein

Living with untreated hearing loss affects far more than your ability to hear. Learn about the far-reaching consequences of leaving your hearing difficulties untreated, and take action today by booking a free hearing test.

  1. Your mental sharpness can suffer
    When you have difficulty hearing what’s going on around you, your mental sharpness can suffer. This is because of a reduction of stimulation to the brain, impairing its ability to process sound and recognize speech. How’s your hearing? Take our online hearing test to get an indication of how well you hear.

  2. Your risk of dementia may increase
    Living with even a mild case of hearing loss can double your risk of developing dementia. The more severe the case, the greater the risk of cognitive decline. A moderate case of hearing loss, for example, triples your risk. With a severe case of hearing loss, you’re up to five times more likely to develop dementia. Want to learn more about the link between hearing loss and dementia?

  3. Your memory can be impaired
    Do you find it hard to remember what you’ve just heard? It can be difficult to comprehend and remember what’s being said when it’s a struggle to hear it in the first place. This is be-cause the extra cognitive effort required reduces the effort available for processing speech

  4. Conversations are not as fun
    As your hearing worsens, it becomes difficult to follow normal conversations. You may need to ask people to repeat them-selves frequently or sit closer to people so you can read their lips or watch their facial expressions to understand conversations. You may even nod and pretend to understand what is being said when you don’t. Have your conversations become more strained?

  5. Your social life may suffer
    You may find it harder to maintain your social life as your hearing worsens. Certain settings, such as social gatherings or dinner parties may be particularly difficult to hear in. As a result, you may find yourself withdrawing from certain or all social events. In fact, research shows that seniors with untreated hearing loss are 20-24% less likely to participate in social activities.

  6. You may feel anxious
    As your hearing worsens, you may find it difficult to decipher and locate sounds around you. This may lead you to feel more insecure about your surroundings. Have you been feeling less secure lately?

  7. Straining to hear can be exhausting
    When it’s difficult to hear, communication can be exhausting. This is because you must dig deeper into your cognitive re-serves to understand. This can be particularly taxing at social events or in restaurants, when your brain may have to decipher between multiple conversations or a lot of background noise.

  8. Hearing loss may impact your income
    According to a study by The Better Hearing Institute, untreated hearing difficulties can impact your earning potential. The study shows that hearing loss can account for up to $30,000 in lost income annually.


1. Deal JA, Betz J, Yaffe K, et al, for the Health ABC Study Group. Hearing impairment and incident dementia and cognitive decline in older adults: the Health ABC Study J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2016; published online April 12. DOI:10.1093/gerona/glw069. 66
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