The regrettable reality is, as you age, your hearing begins to go. Approximately 38 million individuals suffer from hearing loss in the United States, but many decide to disregard it because they look at it as just a part of aging. But beyond the ability to hear, ignoring hearing loss can have serious adverse side effects.
Why is the choice to just live with hearing loss one that many people choose? Based on an AARP study, hearing loss is, thought to be by a third of senior citizens, a concern that is minor and can be managed easily, while price was a concern for more than half of individuals who participated in the study. However, those costs can increase incredibly when you take into account the significant adverse reactions and ailments that are brought on by ignoring hearing loss. What are the most prevalent complications of ignoring hearing loss?
Most people will not immediately put two and two together 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. The reality is that the less you’re able to hear, the more your body struggles to compensate for it, leaving you feeling drained. Recall how tired you were at times in your life when your brain had to be completely concentrated on a task for extended periods of time. Once you’re done, you probably feel drained. When you are struggling to hear, it’s a similar situation: your brain is working 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 valuable energy just attempting to manage the conversation. Looking after yourself requires energy which you won’t have with this kind of chronic fatigue. To adjust, you will avoid life-essential routines like working out or eating healthy.
Decline of Cognitive Function
Countless studies by Johns Hopkins University linked hearing loss to reduced cognitive functions , accelerated brain tissue loss, and dementia. Although these links are not causation, they’re correlations, scientists think that, once again, the more often you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which consumes cognitive resources, the less there are to focus on other things including comprehension and memorization. And as people age, the additional draw on cognitive resources can accelerate the decline of other brain functions and worsen gray matter loss. On top of that, it’s believed that the process of mental decline can be lessened and mental fitness can be preserved by a continued exchange of ideas, usually through conversation. Luckily, cognitive specialist and hearing specialist can use the recognized connection between mental decline and hearing loss to work together to undertake research and establish treatments that are promising in the near future.
Problems With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging carried out a study of 2,300 seniors who were dealing with some form of hearing loss and discovered that people who left their condition untreated were more likely to also suffer from mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia, which negatively impacted their emotional and social happiness. The link between mental health issues and hearing loss adds up since, in social and family situations, individuals who cope with hearing loss have a hard time interacting with others. Ultimately, feelings of separation could become depression. If left untreated, anxiety and even paranoia can surface due to these feelings of isolation and exclusion. Hearing aids have been proven to help in the recovery from depression, though anybody 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 detrimental impact on another seemingly unrelated part. 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 occur. Another condition associated with 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 information. People who have detected 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 figure out whether the hearing loss is indeed caused by a heart condition, since ignoring the symptoms could lead to severe, possibly fatal consequences.
If you want to start living a healthier life, reach out to us so we can help you resolve any adverse effects of hearing loss that you may suffer.