8 Reasons Hearing Loss is More Dangerous Than You Think

warning sign

Hearing damage is hazardously sneaky. It creeps up on you through the years so little by little you scarcely become aware of it , making it all too easy to deny it’s even there. And then, when you finally recognize the signs and symptoms, you shrug it off as troublesome and frustrating due to the fact that its most harmful effects are hidden.

For around 48 million American citizens that claim some extent of hearing loss, the consequences are substantially greater than only inconvenience and frustration.1 Here are 8 reasons why untreated hearing loss is much more dangerous than you might think:

1. Link to Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

A report from Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute on Aging indicates that individuals with hearing loss are considerably more susceptible to suffer from dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, when compared with individuals who preserve their hearing.2

While the explanation for the connection is ultimately unknown, scientists suspect that hearing loss and dementia could possibly share a shared pathology, or that years and years of straining the brain to hear could bring on harm. An additional explanation is that hearing loss many times results in social solitude — a main risk factor for dementia.

Irrespective of the cause, restoring hearing may very well be the optimum prevention, which includes the use of hearing aids.

2. Depression and social isolation

Investigators from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health, have detected a strong relation between hearing loss and depression among U.S. adults of all ages and races.3

3. Not hearing alerts to danger

Car horns, ambulance and police sirens, and fire alarms all are specifically created to notify you to potential dangers. If you miss out on these alerts, you put yourself at an higher risk of injury.

4. Memory impairment and mental decline

Investigations reveal that adults with hearing loss suffer from a 40% larger rate of decline in cognitive function in comparison to individuals with normal hearing.4 The lead author of the study, Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, stated that “going forward for the next 30 or 40 years that from a public health perspective, there’s nothing more important than cognitive decline and dementia as the population ages.” That’s why growing awareness as to the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline is Dr. Lin’s foremost concern.

5. Reduced household income

In a study of more than 40,000 households conducted by the Better Hearing Institute, hearing loss was revealed to adversely influence household income up to $12,000 annually, depending on the amount of hearing loss.5 individuals who used hearing aids, however, minimized this impact by 50%.

The ability to communicate on the job is essential to job performance and promotion. The fact is, communication skills are consistently ranked as the top job-related skill-set requested by managers and the leading factor for promotion.

6. Auditory deprivation – use it or lose it

In regard to the human body, “use it or lose it” is a slogan to live by. For instance, if we don’t make use of our muscles, they atrophy or shrink with time, and we end up losing strength. It’s only through exercise and repeated use that we can recoup our physical strength.

The the exact same phenomenon applies to hearing: as our hearing degrades, we get ensnared in a descending spiral that only gets worse. This is known as auditory deprivation, and a expanding body of research is confirming the “hearing atrophy” that can appear with hearing loss.

7. Underlying medical conditions

Despite the fact that the most common cause of hearing loss is connected to age and repeated exposure to loud noise, hearing loss is at times the symptom of a more significant, underlying medical condition. Potential conditions include:

  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes
  • Otosclerosis – the solidifying of the middle ear bones
  • Ménière’s disease – a disease of the inner ear affecting hearing and balance
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Infections, earwax buildup, or obstructions from foreign objects
  • Tumors
  • Medications – there are more than 200 medications and chemicals that are known to cause hearing and balance issues

Due to the seriousness of some of the ailments, it is imperative that any hearing loss is immediately evaluated.

8. Greater risk of falls

Research has unveiled a number connections between hearing loss and serious disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and anxiety. A further study conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins University has found yet another disheartening link: the link between hearing loss and the risk of falls.6

The research shows that individuals with a 25-decibel hearing loss, classified as mild, were almost three times more likely to have a record of falling. And for every added 10-decibels of hearing loss, the likelihood of falling increased by 1.4 times.

Don’t wait to get your hearing tested

The encouraging part to all of this negative research is the suggestion that retaining or restoring your hearing can help to minimize or eliminate these risks completely. For individuals that now have normal hearing, it is more crucial than ever to take care of it. And for all those suffering with hearing loss, it’s crucial to seek the help of a hearing specialist immediately.


  1. Hearing Loss Association of America: Basic Facts About Hearing Loss
  2. Johns Hopkins Medicine: Hearing Loss and Dementia Linked in Study
  3. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: NIDCD Researchers Find Strong Link between Hearing Loss and Depression in Adults
  4. Medscape: Hearing Loss Linked to Cognitive Decline, Impairment
  5. Better Hearing Institute: The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income
  6. Johns Hopkins Medicine: Hearing Loss Linked to Three-Fold Risk of Falling

Speak Your Mind


Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.