8 Reasons Hearing Loss is More Dangerous Than You Think

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Hearing deficit is hazardously sneaky. It creeps up on you over the years so little by little you hardly detect it, making it easy to deny or ignore. And afterwards, when you eventually recognize the signs and symptoms, you shrug it off as troublesome and irritating due to the fact that its true consequences are hidden.

For up to 48 million American citizens that say they experience some degree of hearing loss, the negative effects are substantially greater than simply inconvenience and frustration.1 The Following Are 8 reasons why untreated hearing loss is a lot more dangerous than you may assume:

1. Connection to Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

An investigation from Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute on Aging suggests that those with hearing loss are considerably more liable to suffer from dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, in comparison with people who preserve their ability to hear.2

Even though the cause for the link is ultimately unknown, researchers suspect that hearing loss and dementia might share a common pathology, or that a long time of straining the brain to hear could create damage. Another explanation is that hearing loss commonly results in social solitude — a foremost risk factor for dementia.

No matter what the cause, repairing hearing may be the best prevention, which includes the use of hearing aids.

2. Depression and social isolation

Scientists from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health, have detected a strong relationship between hearing damage and depression among U.S. adults of all ages and races.3

3. Not hearing alerts to danger

Automobile horns, ambulance and police sirens, and fire alarms all are created to warn you to potential hazards. If you miss out on these types of signals, you put yourself at an increased risk of injury.

4. Memory impairment and mental decline

Findings reveal that adults with hearing loss face a 40% larger rate of decrease in cognitive ability when compared to those with healthy hearing.4 The top author of the investigation, Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, said that “going forward for the next 30 or 40 years that from a public health perspective, there’s nothing more important than cognitive decline and dementia as the population ages.” That’s why increasing awareness as to the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline is Dr. Lin’s foremost priority.

5. Lower household income

In a study of more than 40,000 households performed by the Better Hearing Institute, hearing loss was discovered to adversely influence household income up to $12,000 annually, based on the amount of hearing loss.5 Those who wore hearing aids, however, reduced this impact by 50%.

The capacity to communicate in the workplace is critical to job performance and promotion. The fact is, communication skills are perpetually ranked as the number one job-related skill-set coveted by employers and the top factor for promotion.

6. Auditory deprivation – use it or lose it

When it comes to the human body, “use it or lose it” is a mantra to live by. For instance, if we don’t use our muscles, they atrophy or reduce in size as time goes by, and we end up losing strength. It’s only through exercise and repeated use that we can recover our physical strength.

The the exact same phenomenon is applicable to hearing: as our hearing weakens, we get stuck in a descending spiral that only gets worse. This is recognized as auditory deprivation, and a ever-increasing body of research is confirming the “hearing atrophy” that can develop with hearing loss.

7. Underlying medical conditions

Despite the fact that the most common cause of hearing loss is related to age and enduring direct exposure to loud noise, hearing loss is from time to time the symptom of a more severe, underlying medical condition. Possible conditions include:

  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes
  • Otosclerosis – the hardening of the middle ear bones
  • Ménière’s disease – a condition of the inner ear affecting hearing and balance
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Infections, earwax buildup, or blockages from foreign objects
  • Tumors
  • Medications – there are more than 200 medications and chemicals that are known to cause hearing and balance issues

Because of the severity of some of the conditions, it is imperative that any hearing loss is rapidly assessed.

8. Higher risk of falls

Research has uncovered various links between hearing loss and serious ailments like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and anxiety. A further study carried out by investigators at Johns Hopkins University has revealed yet another disheartening connection: the link between hearing loss and the risk of falls.6

The study suggests that people with a 25-decibel hearing loss, characterized as mild, were just about three times more likely to have a history of falling. And for every added 10-decibels of hearing loss, the likelihood of falling increased by 1.4 times.

Don’t wait to get your hearing tested

The encouraging side to all of this pessimistic research is the suggestion that sustaining or repairing your hearing can help to lower or eliminate these risks completely. For those of you that currently have normal hearing, it is more vital than ever to look after it. And for those of you struggling with hearing loss, it’s crucial to seek the help of a hearing specialist right away.