The regrettable truth is, as you get older, your hearing starts to go. Approximately 38 million individuals in the U.S. deal with some form of hearing loss, but because hearing loss is anticipated as we age, many people decide to just deal with it. But beyond how well you hear, ignoring hearing loss will have severe negative side effects.
Why do so many people choose to simply live with hearing loss? According to an AARP study, hearing loss is, according to a third of seniors, an issue that’s minor and can be handled easily, while price was a concern for more than half of individuals who took part in the study. The costs of neglecting hearing loss, though, can be a lot higher as a result of conditions and adverse reactions that come with ignoring it. What are the most common challenges 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. Imagine you are taking an exam like the SAT where your brain is completely focused on processing the task in front of you. You would most likely feel really drained when you’re done. The same situation occurs when you struggle to hear: your brain is trying to fill in the blanks you’re missing in conversations – which is usually made even more difficult when there is a lot of background noise – and uses up valuable energy just trying to process the conversation. Looking after yourself takes energy that you won’t have with this type of chronic exhaustion. To adjust, you will skip life-essential activities like working out or eating healthy.
Decline of Cognitive Function
Hearing loss has been connected, by several Johns Hopkins University studies, to reduced brain functions , increased loss of brain tissue, and dementia. While these links are correlations, not causations, it’s believed by researchers that, once again, the more often you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which uses up mental 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 mental resources. What’s more, having a routine exchange of information and ideas, often through conversation, is believed to help seniors stay mentally fit and can help decrease the process of mental decline. Luckily, cognitive specialist and hearing specialist can use the known link between cognitive decline and hearing loss to collaborate to carry out research and establish treatments that are promising in the near future.
Problems With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging found, from a study of over two thousand senior citizens, that mental health issues that have a negative emotional and social affect, are more common if there is also untreated hearing loss. It makes sense that there is a connection between hearing loss and mental health issues since people with hearing loss frequently have difficulty communicating with others in family or social situations. Eventually, feelings of separation could become depression. Feelings of exclusion and separation can escalate to anxiety and even paranoia if left untreated. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, you need to talk to a mental health professional and you also should know that hearing aids have been shown to help people recover from some kinds of depression.
If one portion of your body, which is a coordinated machine, stops functioning 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 restricted, hearing loss may happen. 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 disregarded serious or even potentially fatal consequences can happen. So if you’ve detected some hearing loss and have a history of heart disease or heart disease in your family you should consult both a hearing and a cardiac specialist so that you can determine whether your hearing loss is linked to a heart condition.
If you have hearing loss or are going through any of the adverse effects listed above, please get in touch with us so we can help you live a healthier life.