It’s a regrettable fact of life that hearing loss is part of the aging process. Approximately 38 million individuals suffer from hearing loss in the U . S ., though many people decide to dismiss it because they consider it as just a part of getting older. But beyond how well you hear, disregarding hearing loss will have serious negative side effects.
Why is the choice to simply live with hearing loss one that lots of people choose? Based on an AARP study, hearing loss is, thought to be by a third of seniors, a problem that’s minimal and can be managed easily, while greater than half of the participants cited cost as a problem. However, those costs can rise incredibly when you factor in the significant adverse reactions and ailments that are brought on by ignoring hearing loss. Here are the most common negative consequences of neglecting hearing loss.
The dots will not be connected by most people from fatigue to hearing loss. Instead, they will attribute fatigue to several different factors, such as slowing down due to aging or a side-effect of medication. The reality is that the less you can hear, the more your body works to make up for it, leaving you feeling drained. Imagine you are taking an exam like the SAT where your brain is totally focused on processing the task in front of you. Once you’re done, you probably feel drained. When you’re struggling to hear, it’s a similar situation: your brain is working to fill in the blanks you’re missing in conversations – which is usually made even more difficult when there is lots of background noise – and just trying to process information uses valuable 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 activities like working out or eating healthy.
A number of studies conducted by Johns Hopkins University linked hearing loss to reduced cognitive functions , accelerated brain tissue loss, and dementia. While these links are correlations, instead of causations, researchers think that, again, the more frequently you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which uses up mental resources, the less you have to give attention to other things including memorization and comprehension. And as people get older, the additional draw on mental resources can speed up the decline of other brain functions and can lead to loss of gray matter. Moreover, it’s believed that the process of cognitive decline can be slowed and mental fitness can be maintained by sustained exchange of ideas, normally through conversation. The fact that a link was discovered between hearing loss and a decline in cognitive functions is promising for future research since hearing and cognitive specialists can work together to narrow down the causes and develop treatments for these ailments.
Issues With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging carried out a study of 2,300 senior citizens who were dealing with some form of hearing loss and found that those who neglected their condition were more likely to also be dealing with mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and paranoia, which negatively impacted their social and emotional happiness. It is obvious that there is a link between mental health and hearing loss issues since, in social and family situations, people who suffer from hearing loss have a difficult time interacting with others. Ultimately, feelings of separation could develop into depression. Feelings of exclusion and isolation can worsen to anxiety and even paranoia if left untreated. Hearing aids have been shown to aid in the recovery from depression, although anybody suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should consult with a mental health professional.
If one portion of your body, which is an interconnected machine, stops working properly, it might have an impact on seemingly unrelated bodily functions. This is the way it is with our hearts and ears. As a case in point, if blood flow from the heart to the inner ear is constrained, hearing loss may occur. Diabetes, which is also connected to heart disease, can impact the inner ear’s nerve endings and cause information sent from the ear to the brain to get scrambled. If heart disease is ignored serious or even potentially fatal repercussions can occur. So if you have noticed some hearing loss and have a history of heart disease or heart disease in your family you should contact both a hearing and a cardiac specialist so that you can figure out if 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 get in touch with us so we can help you have a healthier life.