It’s a regrettable truth that hearing loss is part of the aging process. Roughly 38 million individuals in the United States suffer from some form of hearing loss, though because hearing loss is anticipated as we age, many decide to ignore it. But beyond the ability to hear, disregarding hearing loss will have severe negative side effects.
Why is the decision to just live with hearing loss one that lots of people choose? According to an AARP study, hearing loss is, thought to be by a third of senior citizens, a problem that’s minor and can be dealt with easily, while more than half of the participants cited cost as a problem. However, those costs can increase incredibly when you factor in the serious side effects and ailments that are brought about by neglecting hearing loss. Here are the most prevalent adverse consequences of ignoring hearing loss.
Most people will not instantly put two and two together from fatigue to hearing loss. They will say, rather, that they are slowing down because of the side-effects of a medication or because they’re getting older. The truth is that the less you can hear, the more your body struggles to compensate for it, leaving you feeling tired. Think about taking a test like the SAT where your brain is entirely focused on processing the task at hand. Once you’re finished, you probably feel drained. The same situation occurs when you struggle to hear: when there are blanks spots in conversation, your brain needs to work hard to fill in the missing information – which is usually made even harder when there’s a lot of background noise – and just attempting to process information consumes valuable energy. Looking after yourself requires energy which you won’t have with this type of chronic exhaustion. To adapt, you will skip life-essential routines such as working out or eating healthy.
Hearing loss has been linked, by several Johns Hopkins University studies, to diminishe cognitive functions , increased loss of brain tissue, and dementia. Even though these connections are not causation, they’re correlations, it’s believed by researchers that, once again, the more often you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which uses up mental resources, the less there are to focus on other things like comprehension and memorization. And decreasing brain function, as we age is, directly linked to an additional draw on our cognitive resources. Besides that, it’s believed that the process of cognitive decline can be slowed and mental fitness can be maintained by a continued exchange of ideas, normally through conversation. The fact that a link between cognitive function and hearing loss was found is encouraging for future research since hearing and cognitive specialists can collaborate to pinpoint the causes and develop treatment options for these conditions.
Concerns With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging discovered, from a study of more than two thousand senior citizens, that mental health issues which have a negative social and emotional impact, are more common if there is also untreated hearing loss. It makes sense that there is a connection between hearing loss and mental health issues since people with hearing loss frequently have difficulty communicating with others in social or family situations. This can lead to feelings of separation, which can eventually result in depression. If neglected, anxiety and even paranoia can surface due to these feelings of solitude and exclusion. Hearing aids have been proven to help in the recovery from depression, though anybody suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should consult with a mental health professional.
If one part of your body, which is an interconnected machine, stops functioning properly, it might have an affect on seemingly unrelated bodily functions. This is the situation with our hearts and ears. As a case in point, if blood flow from the heart to the inner ear is constrained, hearing loss could occur. Diabetes, which is also connected to heart disease, can impact the inner ear’s nerve endings and cause messages sent to the brain from the ear to become scrambled. If heart disease is disregarded serious or even possibly fatal repercussions can occur. So if you’ve noticed some hearing loss and you have a history of diabetes or heart disease in your family you should contact both a cardiac and hearing specialist so that you can figure out whether your hearing loss is linked to a heart condition.
If you deal with hearing loss or are going through any of the negative repercussions listed above, please contact us for a consultation so we can help you have a healthier life.