Untreated hearing loss affects the quality of life

If you live with an untreated hearing loss, you may suffer from a series of negative impacts that can reduce your quality of life. WHO has in the recent years increased the disability weights for hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss affects the quality of life

An untreated hearing loss may result in mental (psychological) and social problems that affects the quality of life. But especially relations with other people is affected.

In fact untreated hearing loss affects the quality of life more than previously assumed. The WHO has increased the disability weights for hearing loss between 2010-2013 saying that hearing loss impacts the life of individuals far more than previously calculated. The GBD (general burden of disease) for mild hearing loss have been doubled, while the GBD for severe and profound hearing losses have been more than five doubled.


An untreated hearing loss is known to have negative impacts on relationships. Especially with your partner but also your children and grandchildren. Relations with friends, other family members and colleagues may suffer, as well.

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Mental problems

Some of the mental/psychological consequences of an untreated hearing loss include:

  • Embarrassment
  • Problems concentrating
  • Sadness or depression
  • Worry and frustration
  • Anxiety and suspiciousness
  • Insecurity
  • Self-criticism and low self-esteem/self-confidence

Social problems

Some common social problems for people with an untreated hearing loss are:

  • Isolation and withdrawal
  • Loss of intimacy
  • Inattentiveness
  • Bluffing
  • Distraction and/or lack of concentration
  • Problems participating in social life
  • Reduced social activity
  • Problems at work - may have to give up working/retire

Hearing aids may help

If you experience or recognize some of these problems, you should get your hearing tested. You may suffer from an untreated hearing loss. Many of the mentioned problems can be reduced by using hearing aids. Several studies and surveys have documented that the use of hearing aids increase the quality of life if you suffer from hearing loss.


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