Neglecting untreated hearing loss can severely impact your overall health and well being. It’s easy to underestimate the consequences of occasionally missing sounds, thinking that simply increasing the volume on your TV might suffice. However, this is a significant misunderstanding. For the approximately 40 million Americans experiencing hearing difficulties, here are several compelling reasons why addressing your hearing loss and caring for your hearing health should not be overlooked.

The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) is encouraging individuals with hearing loss to take action. Since 1927, ASHA has designated May as Better Hearing and Speech Month to increase awareness about speech and communication disorders. This observance also serves to showcase the contributions of ASHA members, including audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists, as well as audiology and speech-language pathology support staff. For more information, visit


Hearing Loss and Its Impact on Relationships

Ignoring hearing loss can have serious consequences for your relationships and overall well-being. It often leads to a breakdown in communication with close friends and family, resulting in feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Difficulty in following conversations can cause individuals to withdraw from social interactions and disengage from activities they once enjoyed. Those who do not address their hearing loss may experience increased unhappiness, fatigue, and potentially even a reduced lifespan.

Investing in a quality pair of hearing devices can make a significant difference. They help maintain clear communication, full participation in conversations, and continued enjoyment of social activities. Many people, like a person from California, find that using hearing aids is transformative, allowing them to reconnect with their environment and greatly improve their quality of life.


The Link Between Hearing Loss and Mental Health

Research consistently demonstrates a strong connection between hearing loss and mental health, indicating that untreated hearing loss can have significant effects on the brain. Individuals with hearing loss are much more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and they often exhibit faster cognitive decline and brain shrinkage. A study from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine revealed that individuals with untreated hearing loss experienced cognitive decline at a rate 30-40% faster than those with normal hearing over a six-year period.

Addressing hearing loss early is crucial, as using hearing aids can help maintain cognitive functions and mental sharpness. Moreover, treating hearing loss helps reduce the risk of depression by keeping you connected with loved ones and engaged in enjoyable activities.


The Impact of Hearing Loss on Physical Well-Being

Untreated hearing loss impacts not only your emotional and mental well-being but also your physical health. The National Council on Aging reports that falls are a leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among older Americans, and those with hearing loss are significantly more prone to experiencing falls. In fact, individuals with hearing loss are three times more likely to have a fall. This increased risk is due in part to difficulties in hearing and localizing sounds, which can compromise balance and environmental awareness, thereby heightening the risk of accidents.

Addressing hearing loss can enhance balance and reduce the likelihood of falls, thereby safeguarding your physical safety. With improved hearing, you’ll be more attuned to important cues like warning sounds, helping you remain alert and secure in your surroundings.

May, recognized as Better Hearing and Speech Month, emphasizes the importance of addressing hearing loss, which impacts an estimated 40 million Americans. Untreated hearing issues can lead to significant health challenges, including deteriorated personal relationships, mental health issues like anxiety and depression, and an increased risk of physical injuries from falls. The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) encourages individuals to seek treatment, highlighting the transformative benefits of hearing aids in maintaining social connections, cognitive function, and overall quality of life. As we reflect on this month’s awareness efforts, let’s continue to prioritize hearing health to enhance well-being and prevent the myriad complications associated with hearing loss.