It’s a regrettable truth that hearing loss is part of the aging process. Roughly 38 million people in the U.S. suffer from some kind of hearing loss, but since hearing loss is expected as we age, many people choose to leave it unchecked. Disregarding hearing loss, though, can have major adverse side effects on a person’s over-all well-being beyond how well they hear.
Why do many people decide to simply accept hearing loss? According to an AARP study, hearing loss is, thought to be by a third of senior citizens, a concern that is minimal and can be managed easily, while greater than half of the participants cited cost as a concern. But, those costs can increase astronomically when you factor in the significant side effects and conditions that are brought on by neglecting hearing loss. Here are the most likely negative effects of ignoring hearing loss.
The dots will not be connected by most people from fatigue to hearing loss. Instead, they will blame their fatigue on countless different ideas, such as slowing down due to aging or a side-effect of medication. But actually, if you have to work extra hard to hear, it can drain your physical resources. Recall how fatigued you were at times in your life when your brain needed to be completely concentrated on a task for prolonged time periods. You would probably feel fairly drained when you’re done. The same situation takes place when you struggle to hear: when there are blanks spots in conversation, your brain needs to work extra 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 uses precious energy. Looking after yourself requires energy that you won’t have with this type of chronic fatigue. To adjust, you will skip life-essential routines like working out or eating healthy.
Several studies by Johns Hopkins University linked hearing loss to reduced cognitive functions , accelerated brain tissue loss, and dementia. Even though these connections are not causation, they’re correlations, researchers believe that, again, the more frequently you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which uses up cognitive resources, the less there are to give attention to other things including comprehension and memorization. And decreasing brain function, as we get older is, directly linked to an additional draw on our cognitive resources. Moreover, it’s believed that the process of cognitive decline can be lessened and mental wellness can be maintained by a continued exchange of ideas, usually through conversation. The fact that a connection between cognitive function and hearing loss was found is encouraging for future research since hearing and cognitive specialists can collaborate to narrow down the causes and create treatments for these ailments.
Issues With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging found, from a study of more than two thousand senior citizens, that mental health issues that have a negative social and emotional impact, are more common if there is also neglected hearing loss. The connection between mental health issues and hearing loss seems logical since people who suffer from hearing loss often have a hard time communicating with other people in family or social situations. This can lead to feelings of isolation, which can eventually result in depression. Feelings of exclusion and separation can escalate to anxiety and even paranoia if left untreated. Hearing aids have been proven to aid in the recovery from depression, although anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should contact a mental health professional.
Our bodies are one coordinated machine – if one part stops working like it is supposed to, it could have a negative affect on another seemingly unrelated part. This is the situation with our hearts and ears. Case in point, hearing loss will occur when blood does not easily flow from the heart to the inner ear. Another condition connected to heart disease is diabetes which also has an effect on the nerve endings of the inner ear and sometimes causes the brain to receive scrambled signals. People who have noticed some amount of hearing loss and who have a history of heart disease or diabetes 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 might lead to serious, possibly fatal repercussions.
If you want to begin living a healthier life, contact us so we can help you solve any adverse effects of hearing loss that you may suffer.