Detecting and treating hearing loss early is essential. Left untreated, prolonged hearing loss can
have increasingly serious consequences in both adults and children. As adults many of us laugh
off a gradual decline in our ability to hear others or the activities going on around us. We say
we’re “having a senior moment” or we just turn up the television or the music.
Studies show, however, that the social and physiological effects of hearing loss build up over
time. We may find it increasingly difficult to follow conversations and become tired of the effort
it takes to sustain a rewarding social life. Relationships with family and friends can become
strained and we may lose interest in activities we once found enjoyable.
Further, a lack of auditory stimulation reduces the brain’s ability to process sounds and speech
over time. The longer the hearing loss is left untreated, the more difficult it can be for the
brain (and the patient) to adjust to hearing again once hearing aids or communication devices
are in place. More recent studies have linked untreated hearing loss with the development of
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
In children, early detection and treatment of hearing loss is arguably even more important.
Infants and children who don’t hear properly are at risk of suffering from impaired or delayed
speech and language development, which in turn affects their ability to learn and to interact in a
healthy way with their environment and the people in it.
Warning signs for hearing loss in young children can include frequent ear infections, not saying
single words by 12 months, not responding when called, speaking loudly, or turning up the
volume on media. A simple hearing test can quickly detect hearing loss and get you or your child
started on the road to a better quality of life.
If you suspect that you or someone you care about is experiencing some type of hearing loss,
help is just a phone call away to one of our clinics.