Yes, says to Dr. Jamie Desjardins, Assistant Professor in the Speech-Language pathology program at the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas. According to UTEP News, untreated hearing loss can lead to serious emotional and social consequences along with reduced job performance and a lower quality of life.
“If you have some hearing impairment and you’re not using hearing aids, maybe you can figure out what the person has said, but that comes with a cost,” Desjardins explained. “You may actually be using the majority of your cognitive resources – your brain power – in order to figure out that message.”
Dr. Desjardins studied a group of individuals in their 50s and 60s with mild to severe hearing loss and designed a series of cognitive tests. Her study concluded that “directional microphone processing effectively reduced the cognitive load of listening to speech in background noise. This is significant because it is likely that listeners with hearing impairment will frequently encounter noisy speech in their everyday communications.” (Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 2016 Jan:27(1):29-42.)
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