In this cute and informative video, Eddy the Ear is just your typical, average ear -experiencing some slight hearing loss. In this quirky clip, Eddy is simply trying to warn his human of the effects of untreated hearing loss on his human’s health and happiness. He explains that he can hear, but with “just a little help, things could be so much better.” Sound familiar?
Let’s review some of Eddy’s expert (I mean, he is an ear, right?) advice on the perils of leaving your hearing loss unchecked and untreated.
As Eddy explains and research confirms, untreated hearing loss can lead to a slew of negative mental and emotional effects including stress, irritability, anger and even depression. This makes sense, as there are few things less frustrating in life than to not understand what you once did, or to feel misunderstood yourself. Many people who treat their hearing loss for the first time report a massive decrease in one or many of these areas, and thus a general increase in mental and emotional well-being.
When hearing loss goes ignored, social events and activities can seem more stressful, straining, and frustrating than enjoyable. When this happens, it may seem easier to withdraw and avoid parties or gatherings that may make us feel uncomfortable. Chances are, we may not even notice we are doing it. Look back on your social calendar from the past few months and compare it to last year or even a few years prior. Are you attending the same amount of bridal showers or birthday parties for your grandchildren or friends this year as you have in the past? If not, you may be withdrawing socially without even realizing it – and it may be correlated with your untreated hearing loss.
We heavily rely on our hearing to keep us safe in the world. Think about how many of the devices meant to keep us safe (oven beeps, fire alarms, car horns, and the old fashioned “watch out”) rely on hearing to be understood. When our hearing is impaired and untreated, we may be less aware of our surroundings and therefore less safe in our environment than we know. We wouldn’t walk around or drive on a busy street with blurred vision and no glasses, why do we try to do so with muffled hearing?
Unfortunately, there are also harmful effects of untreated hearing loss on our physical health, as Eddy explains in his video. People with untreated hearing loss tend to also have increased blood pressure. Also, since straining to hear puts more stress on the brain, untreated hearing loss can even lead to deterioration diseases such as dementia. Statistics have also shown a correlation between untreated hearing loss and increased and prolonged bouts of illness and/or injury as compared to peers with non-impaired hearing.
Although the effects of untreated hearing loss can seem daunting, it’s not all doom and gloom for those of us with hearing loss. Studies have shown that many of these unwanted effects are lessened for those who choose to treat their hearing loss with hearing aids. Imagine how freeing it will feel to no longer feel lost in group conversations, or how much more of our brainpower can be put to our work or our hobbies if we’re not constantly using it to hear. It’s easy to see how clearer and less labored listening could alleviate these side effects.
Think about it: if your ears could talk, would they be agreeing with Eddy the Ear and trying to warn you about untreated hearing loss? Have you noticed changes in your hearing such as hearing but not understanding, withdrawing from social situations you used to enjoy, or difficulty holding conversations over the phone or with multiple communication partners? As goofy as Eddy the Ear is, he makes some good points. Don’t be “EAR-responsible” and instead, reach out to your local hearing specialist to schedule your first hearing screen. Your ears will be happy to be heard!
This video is the third episode in the Eddy the Ear series. To watch the other episodes or read the silly Eddy the Ear comics, visit here.