It’s an unfortunate truth that hearing loss is part of the aging process. Approximately 38 million people in the United States suffer from some form of hearing loss, but because hearing loss is anticipated as we get older, many decide to just deal with it. Neglecting hearing loss, however, can have major negative side effects on a person’s entire well-being beyond their inability to hear.
Why is the decision to simply cope with hearing loss one that many people choose? According to an AARP study, more than one-third of senior citizens think of hearing loss as a minor problem that can be handled easily enough, while cost was a worry for more than half of people who participated in the study. The consequences of neglecting hearing loss, though, can be a lot higher as a result of conditions and adverse reactions that come with ignoring it. Here are the most common negative effects of neglecting hearing loss.
The dots will not be connected by most people from fatigue to hearing loss. They will say, instead, that they are slowing down due to the side-effects of a medication or because they’re getting older. The fact is that the less you can hear, the more your body struggles to make up for it, leaving you feeling tired. Remember how tired you were at times in your life when your brain needed to be totally focused on a task for prolonged time periods. Once you’re finished, you probably feel exhausted. The same thing takes place when you struggle to hear: your brain is trying to fill in the blanks you’re missing in conversations – which is often made even more difficult when there’s a lot of background noise – and simply attempting to process information uses precious energy. Taking care of yourself takes 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.
Countless studies by Johns Hopkins University linked hearing loss to diminishe brain functions , accelerated loss of brain tissue, and dementia. Even though these associations are not causation, they’re correlations, scientists think that, again, the more often you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which consumes mental resources, the less you have to give attention to other things like comprehension and memorization. And declining brain function, as we get older is, directly linked to an additional draw on our mental resources. In addition, engaging in a routine exchange of ideas and information, usually through conversation, is believed to help seniors remain mentally fit and can help delay the process of mental decline. Fortunately, cognitive specialist and hearing specialist can use the recognized connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss to work together to undertake research and establish treatments that are encouraging in the near future.
Problems With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging discovered, from a study of over two thousand senior citizens, that mental health problems which have a negative emotional and social affect, are more common if there is also neglected hearing loss. It makes sense that there is a link between mental health and hearing loss problems since people with hearing loss frequently have difficulty communicating with others in family or social situations. This can lead to feelings of separation, which can eventually lead to 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, although anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should contact a mental health professional.
If one portion of your body, which is a coordinated machine, stops functioning properly, it might have an affect on seemingly unrelated bodily functions. This is the case with our hearts and ears. For instance, hearing loss will occur 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 from the ear to the brain to get scrambled. People who have detected some amount of hearing loss and who have a history of heart disease or diabetes in their families should contact both a hearing and cardiac specialist to determine whether the hearing loss is actually caused by a heart condition, since overlooking the symptoms might lead to serious, possibly fatal repercussions.
If you suffer from hearing loss or are going through any of the adverse repercussions listed above, please contact us for a consultation so we can help you have a healthier life.