The regrettable truth is, as you get older, your hearing starts to fail. Roughly 38 million people in the United States suffer from some form of hearing loss, though since hearing loss is expected as we age, many people choose to leave it unchecked. Neglecting hearing loss, though, can have major negative side effects on a person’s over-all well-being beyond how well they hear.
Why is the choice to simply ignore hearing loss one that many people consider? According to an AARP study, hearing loss is, according to a third of seniors, a concern that’s minimal and can be managed easily, while price was a concern for more than half of individuals who took part in the study. But, those costs can go up incredibly when you factor in the serious side effects and ailments that are triggered by ignoring hearing loss. Here are the most common negative consequences of ignoring hearing loss.
The dots will not be connected by most people from fatigue to hearing loss. They will say, rather, that they are slowing down due to the side-effects of a medication or because they’re getting older. But in reality, if you need to work harder to hear, it can drain your physical resources. Recall how fatigued you were at times in your life when your brain needed to be totally focused on a task for prolonged periods of time. You would probably feel really depleted after you’re finished. When you are struggling to hear, it’s a similar scenario: your brain is trying to fill in the blanks you’re missing in conversations – which is usually made even harder when there is lots of background noise – and uses up precious energy just attempting to manage the conversation. Taking care of yourself requires energy which you won’t have with this type of chronic fatigue. To adjust, you will skip life-essential routines like working out or eating healthy.
Decline of Brain Function
Hearing loss has been linked, by several Johns Hopkins University studies, to reduced brain functions , increased loss of brain tissue, and dementia. Although these associations are not causation, they’re correlations, it’s theorized by researchers that, again, the more often you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which uses up cognitive resources, the less you have to give attention to other things including comprehension and memorization. And decreasing brain function, as we age is, directly linked to an increased draw on our mental resources. What’s more, engaging in a regular exchange of information and ideas, often through conversation, is thought to help seniors remain mentally fit and can help decrease the process of mental decline. Luckily, cognitive specialist and hearing specialist can use the recognized link between mental decline and hearing loss to work together to carry out research and develop treatments that are encouraging in the near future.
Mental Health Problems
The National Council on the Aging discovered, 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 untreated hearing loss. It makes sense that there’s a connection between hearing loss and mental health problems since, in social and family situations, individuals who suffer from hearing loss have a difficult time interacting with others. Ultimately, feelings of isolation could develop into 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 consult a mental health professional and you also should be aware that hearing aids have been proven to help people recover from some forms of depression.
If one part of your body, which is a coordinated machine, stops functioning properly, it might have an affect on apparently unrelated bodily functions. This is the case 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 be the result. Diabetes, which is also linked to heart disease, can impact the inner ear’s nerve endings and cause messages sent to the brain from the ear to become scrambled. Individuals 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 indeed caused by a heart condition, since neglecting the symptoms could lead to severe, possibly fatal repercussions.
If you want to start living a healthier life, contact us so we can help you solve any negative effects of hearing loss that you might suffer.