The unfortunate truth is, as you age, your hearing starts to fail. Approximately 38 million individuals suffer from hearing loss in the U . S ., though many choose to dismiss it because they consider it as just a part of aging. Ignoring hearing loss, however, can have major negative side effects on a person’s entire well-being beyond how well they hear.
Why is the choice to just live with hearing loss one that lots of people consider? Based on an AARP study, hearing loss is, thought to be by a third of seniors, a concern that’s minor and can be dealt with easily, while cost was a worry for more than half of those who participated in the study. The consequences of neglecting hearing loss, however, can be a lot higher as a result of complications and adverse reactions that come with ignoring it. What are the most common complications of neglecting hearing loss?
The dots will not be connected by most people from fatigue to hearing loss. Instead, they will blame their fatigue on several different ideas, such as slowing down due to aging or a side-effect of medication. The fact is that the less you’re able to hear, the more your body works to make up for it, leaving you feeling tired. Recall how fatigued you were at times in your life when your brain had to be totally concentrated on a task for prolonged time periods. You would most likely feel quite drained after you’re finished. The same situation occurs when you struggle to hear: your brain is working to fill in the blanks you’re missing in conversations – which is usually made even more difficult when there’s lots of background noise – and just attempting to process information consumes valuable energy. This kind of chronic fatigue can affect your health by leaving you too tired to care for yourself, skipping out on things like working out or cooking healthy meals.
Hearing loss has been connected, by several Johns Hopkins University studies, to diminishe cognitive functions , accelerated loss of brain tissue, and dementia. Even though these connections are not causation, they’re correlations, it’s theorized by researchers that, once again, the more often you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which consumes cognitive resources, the less there are to give attention to other things including memorization and comprehension. And as people get older, the increased draw on mental resources can speed up the decline of other brain functions and worsen gray matter loss. On top of that, it’s believed that the process of mental decline can be lessened and mental fitness can be maintained by sustained exchange of ideas, normally through conversation. Luckily, cognitive specialist and hearing specialist can use the recognized connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss to work together to carry out research and develop treatments that are promising in the near future.
Problems With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging found, from a study of more than two thousand seniors, that mental health issues which have a negative social and emotional affect, are more common if there is also untreated hearing loss. The connection between hearing loss and mental health issues adds up since, in social and family situations, people who cope with hearing loss have a hard time interacting with others. Eventually, feelings of separation could develop into depression. Feelings of exclusion and isolation can escalate to anxiety and even paranoia if left untreated. Hearing aids have been shown to aid in the recovery from depression, though anybody suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should talk to a mental health professional.
Our bodies are one coordinated machine – if one part stops functioning as it should, it may have a negative affect on another apparently unrelated part. This is the situation with our hearts and ears. For instance, hearing loss will happen when blood doesn’t flow easily from the heart to the inner ear. Diabetes, which is also linked to heart disease, can affect the inner ear’s nerve endings and cause information sent to the brain from the ear to become scrambled. People who have noticed some amount of hearing loss and who have a history of diabetes or heart disease in their families should consult with both a hearing and cardiac specialist to determine whether the hearing loss is actually caused by a heart condition, since neglecting the symptoms could lead to serious, possibly fatal repercussions.
If you deal with hearing loss or are going through any of the negative effects listed above, please reach out to us so we can help you have a healthier life.