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 decide to ignore it because they look at it as just a part of aging. Neglecting hearing loss, though, can have significant 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, more than one-third of senior citizens consider hearing loss to be a minor issue that can be dealt with easily enough, while cost was a concern for more than half of those who participated in the study. However, those costs can rise incredibly when you factor in the significant side effects and ailments that are triggered by ignoring hearing loss. Here are the most likely 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 actually, if you need to work harder to hear, it can drain your physical resources. Recall how tired you were at times in your life when your brain needed to be totally concentrated on a task for extended time periods. You would probably feel quite drained when you’re done. When you’re struggling to hear, it’s a similar situation: 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 consumes precious energy just attempting to manage the conversation. Taking care of yourself requires energy which you won’t have with this type of chronic exhaustion. To adjust, you will skip life-essential routines such as working out or eating healthy.
Hearing loss has been connected, by a number of Johns Hopkins University studies, to reduced cognitive functions , accelerated loss of brain tissue, and dementia. Even though these connections are not causation, they’re correlations, it’s theorized by researchers that, once again, the more mental resources that are spent trying to fill in the blanks of a conversation, the less there are to give attention to other things including memorization and comprehension. And declining brain function, as we get older is, directly connected to an increased draw on our mental resources. On top of that, it’s believed that the process of cognitive decline can be lessened and mental wellness can be preserved by a continued exchange of ideas, normally through conversation. Luckily, cognitive specialist and hearing specialist can use the recognized connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss to collaborate to undertake research and establish treatments that are encouraging in the near future.
Issues With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging carried out a study of 2,300 senior citizens who suffered some form of hearing loss and discovered that people who neglected their condition were more likely to also be dealing with mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and paranoia, which negatively affected their social and emotional well-being. The link between hearing loss and mental health issues makes sense since people with hearing loss frequently have difficulty communicating with other people in family or social situations. This can result in feelings of isolation, which can eventually lead to depression. Feelings of exclusion and isolation can worsen to anxiety and even paranoia if left untreated. Hearing aids have been proven to aid in the recovery from depression, although anybody suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should talk to a mental health professional.
If one part of your body, which is a coordinated machine, stops working correctly, it could 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 constrained, hearing loss may happen. Diabetes, which is also linked to heart disease, can affect the inner ear’s nerve endings and cause messages sent from the ear to the brain to become scrambled. People who have noticed some degree 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 neglecting the symptoms might lead to serious, possibly fatal consequences.
If you want to begin living a healthier life, reach out to us so we can help you solve any negative effects of hearing loss that you may suffer.