The unfortunate truth is, as you age, your hearing begins to fail. Roughly 38 million individuals cope with hearing loss in the United States, though many choose to disregard it because they consider it as just a part of aging. Neglecting hearing loss, though, can have major negative side effects on a person’s over-all well-being beyond their inability to hear.
Why do many people decide to just accept hearing loss? According to an AARP study, more than one-third of senior citizens think of hearing loss as a minor concern that can be dealt with easily enough, while price was a worry for more than half of those who participated in the study. But, those costs can rise incredibly when you take into account the significant adverse reactions and ailments that are brought on by ignoring hearing loss. Here are the most common negative consequences of neglecting hearing loss.
The dots will not be connected by most people from fatigue to hearing loss. Instead, they will blame their fatigue on several different factors, such as slowing down due to aging or a side-effect of medication. The fact 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 needed to be completely concentrated on a task for prolonged time periods. You would probably feel fairly drained when you’re done. The same situation takes place when you struggle to hear: your brain is working to fill in the blanks you’re missing in conversations – which is usually made even more difficult when there’s lots of background noise – and uses up precious energy just trying to process the conversation. Looking after yourself requires energy which you won’t have with this kind of chronic exhaustion. To adjust, you will skip life-essential routines such as working out or eating healthy.
Countless studies conducted by Johns Hopkins University linked hearing loss to diminishe cognitive functions , accelerated loss of brain tissue, and dementia. Even though these associations are not causation, they’re correlations, it’s believed by researchers that, once again, the more cognitive resources that are spent trying to fill in the blanks of a conversation, the less there are to give attention to other things including comprehension and memorization. And as people age, the additional draw on mental resources can accelerate the decline of other brain functions and contribute to loss of gray matter. What’s more, having a regular exchange of information and ideas, often through conversation, is believed to help seniors stay mentally fit and can help delay the process of cognitive decline. Fortunately, cognitive specialist and hearing specialist can use the recognized connection between mental decline and hearing loss to collaborate to undertake research and develop treatments that are encouraging in the near future.
Issues With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging performed a study of 2,300 seniors who suffered some form of hearing loss and found that those who neglected their condition were more likely to also suffer from mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and paranoia, which negatively impacted their emotional and social happiness. The link between mental health issues and hearing loss makes sense since, in family and social situations, individuals who cope with hearing loss have a hard time communicating with others. This can result in feelings of isolation, which can ultimately result in depression. If neglected, anxiety and even paranoia can surface as a result of these feelings of isolation and exclusion. Hearing aids have been shown to aid in the recovery from depression, although anybody suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should talk to a mental health professional.
Our bodies are one coordinated machine – if one part stops functioning as it should, it might have a negative 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 connected to heart disease is diabetes which also has an effect on the nerve endings of the inner ear and sometimes causes the brain to get scrambled information. 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 ascertain whether the hearing loss is actually caused by a heart condition, since overlooking the symptoms could lead to severe, possibly fatal repercussions.
If you want to start living a healthier life, reach out to us so we can help you solve any negative effects of hearing loss that you may suffer.