Health Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss

Annual Aging Well Section

Growing older is a gift, but as you grow into your golden years, it’s important to stay on top of your health. Being mindful of health and wellness changes eases the aging process and prevents unnecessary worry so you can fully enjoy this season of life. Here, we talk to experts who share information about topics to be aware of as you age, along with preventative measures and treatment options.

By Lindsey June


Hearing loss is a common condition that can lead to mental and cognitive decline if left untreated. 


Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is hard enough on its own, but – if left untreated – can lead to additional mental and physical health concerns. According to studies from health organizations like Johns Hopkins, adults with untreated hearing loss experience a 30-40% faster decline in cognitive abilities. 

While it may sound daunting, understanding the link between hearing loss and overall health can help you avoid risk factors and learn when to seek treatment. 


Impact on Emotional and Cognitive Decline

Studies link hearing loss to mental health, showing a correlation between the condition and depression. Additionally, those with hearing loss may withdraw from social situations; that isolation can lead to reduced alertness, fatigue, and eventually to irritability and anger. 

There is also a connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. When you can’t identify sound, your brain receives less stimulation, which can lead to memory loss or dementia. In fact, you are five times more likely to develop dementia if you suffer from severe hearing loss. Cognitive decline can also result in falls and injury.



If you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to talk to a hearing professional. Hearing aid technology has come a long way and can provide great relief to patients with mild to severe hearing loss. They not only improve your hearing, but your overall health along with it. 

Many people are reluctant to check their hearing, even when signs of hearing loss are evident. Taking the first step is always a challenge, but there’s a road to happiness and health on the other side. Don’t let hearing loss get you down – get tested, and encourage your friends and family to do so as well! 

expert opinion on the effects of untreated hearing loss from Cheryl Ward, BC-HIS at Audiology Services of Chattanooga of untreated hearing loss

Get access to the next issue before it hits the stands!