It’s a regrettable truth that hearing loss is part of the aging process. Roughly 38 million individuals cope with hearing loss in the United States, but many choose to dismiss it because they think about it as just a part of getting older. But beyond how well you hear, ignoring hearing loss can have severe adverse side effects.
Why is the choice to simply live with hearing loss one that lots of people consider? 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 managed easily, while price was a concern for more than half of individuals who took part in the study. However, those costs can rise incredibly when you factor in the significant side effects and ailments that are brought about by ignoring hearing loss. Here are the most common negative effects of ignoring 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 because of the side-effects of a medication or because they’re getting older. But actually, if you have to work harder to hear, it can deplete your physical resources. Recall how fatigued you were at times in your life when your brain had to be totally concentrated on a task for prolonged time periods. Once you’re done, you likely feel drained. The same thing occurs when you struggle to hear: when there are blanks spots in conversation, your brain needs to work hard to substitute the missing information – which, when there’s enough background noise, is even harder – and simply attempting to process information consumes precious energy. Looking after yourself requires energy that you won’t have with this kind of chronic fatigue. To adapt, you will skip life-essential routines like working out or eating healthy.
Decline of Brain Function
Hearing loss has been connected, by numerous Johns Hopkins University studies, to reduced cognitive functions , accelerated loss of brain tissue, and dementia. Although these associations are not causation, they’re correlations, it’s theorized by researchers that, once again, the more often you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which uses up mental resources, the less you have 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 mental resources. What’s more, engaging in a regular exchange of information and ideas, often through conversation, is believed to help seniors remain mentally fit and can help delay the process of cognitive decline. The fact that a link between cognitive function and hearing loss was found is promising for future research since hearing and cognitive specialists can collaborate to pinpoint the factors and create treatments for these ailments.
Problems With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging conducted a study of 2,300 senior citizens who were dealing with some form of hearing loss and discovered that those who left their condition untreated were more likely to also be dealing with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia, which negatively affected their social and emotional happiness. The link between mental health issues and hearing loss makes sense since, in family and social situations, people who suffer from hearing loss have a hard time communicating with others. Eventually, feelings of separation could become depression. If neglected, anxiety and even paranoia can appear due to these feelings of solitude and exclusion. Hearing aids have been shown to help in the recovery from depression, although anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should talk to a mental health professional.
Our bodies are one coordinated machine – if one component stops functioning like it should, it may have a negative affect on another seemingly unrelated part. 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 may happen. Diabetes, which is also connected to heart disease, can impact the inner ear’s nerve endings and cause information sent to the brain from the ear to become 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 figure out whether the hearing loss is actually caused by a heart condition, since ignoring the symptoms might lead to serious, possibly fatal consequences.
If you deal with 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.