Alex O'Brien

Hearing

4 problems that arise from untreated hearing loss

4 problems that arise from untreated hearing loss

Hearing loss is unique to each person, so it can be hard to diagnose when someone is experiencing hearing loss. However, if hearing loss is left untreated, there are direct and indirect consequences. We outline four of them below.

1. Voice

This is an obvious one. For some people with untreated hearing loss, their auditory loss may actually influence and change the way their voice sounds all together – to themselves and to others. It can even change your accent as you begin to hear things differently. The other way untreated hearing loss can influence someone’s voice is the perceived volume at which they talk. 

2. Enjoying movies and television

For those with untreated hearing loss, closed captions can become a necessity as hearing loss begins to take away the ability to understand speech and sounds in movies, especially those where the actors aren’t facing the audience, the dialogue is spoken in romantic soft whispers, the environment is dark, the actors have facial hair or wear masks, there are loud explosions, rushing waters or roaring fires and crashing cars. Subtitles become essential to enjoying watching a movie, or, personal headphones can be a great option.

3. Vocabulary

With untreated hearing loss, various sounds and letters become more difficult to hear and understand as frequencies are lost. When hearing loss is left untreated as time goes on, the brain adjusts to not hearing the sounds associated with certain frequencies, and words involving those sounds begin to lose their crispness and can even impact the way speech is interpreted and used. For example, if someone has difficulty hearing the sound an “S” makes, there brain will have increased difficulty over time understanding words with those letters and overtime, they may even begin to skip or stumble over their Ss.

4. Safety

Untreated hearing loss can significantly impair one’s ability to respond and process during emergency situations. For those with untreated hearing loss, not being able to hear a fire alarm or someone approaching them from behind at the right time can be dangerous. The same can be said of carbon monoxide indicators and other emergency signals. If you feel like you are at risk, contact your health care professional about alternative solutions.

Are you hard of hearing? What are the most common issues you have faced when dealing hearing loss? Tell us in the comments below.

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