The regrettable reality is, as you get older, your hearing starts to go. Approximately 38 million individuals suffer from hearing loss in the U . S ., though many people choose to disregard it because they look at it as just a part of getting older. But beyond the ability to hear, ignoring hearing loss will have serious negative side effects.
Why is the decision to just ignore hearing loss one that lots of people consider? Based on an AARP study, more than one-third of senior citizens think of hearing loss as a minor problem that can be handled easily enough, while price was a concern for more than half of people who participated in the study. However, those costs can rise incredibly when you take into account the significant side effects and conditions that are brought about by ignoring hearing loss. Here are the most prevalent adverse 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 because of the side-effects of a medication or because they’re getting older. The truth is that the less you’re able to hear, the more your body works to compensate for it, leaving you feeling tired. Remember how fatigued you were at times in your life when your brain had to be totally concentrated on a task for extended periods of time. Once you’re finished, you probably feel exhausted. When you are struggling to hear, it’s a similar scenario: your brain is working to fill in the blanks you’re missing in conversations – which, when there’s enough background noise, is even more difficult – and simply trying to process information consumes precious energy. This kind of chronic tiredness can affect your health by leaving you too tired to care for yourself, cutting out things like working out or cooking healthy meals.
Hearing loss has been connected, by several Johns Hopkins University studies, to reduced cognitive functions , accelerated brain tissue loss, and dementia. While these links are correlations, instead of causations, researchers believe that, again, the more cognitive resources that are used attempting to fill in the blanks of a conversation, the less there are to focus on other things like comprehension and memorization. And as people get older, the increased draw on mental resources can speed up the decline of other brain functions and can lead 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 slow the process of cognitive decline. The fact that a link between cognitive function and hearing loss was found is promising for future research since hearing and cognitive specialists can collaborate to pinpoint the factors and create treatments for these conditions.
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 social and emotional impact, are more common if there is also neglected hearing loss. The connection between hearing loss and mental health issues makes sense since people who suffer from hearing loss frequently have difficulty communicating with others in social or family situations. Eventually, feelings of separation could become depression. If left untreated, anxiety and even paranoia can appear as a result of these feelings of isolation and exclusion. Hearing aids have been shown to help in the recovery from depression, though anybody suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should consult with a mental health professional.
If one portion of your body, which is a coordinated machine, stops working correctly, it might have an affect on seemingly unrelated bodily functions. This is the situation with our hearts and ears. Case in point, hearing loss will occur when blood does not easily flow from the heart to the inner ear. 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 become scrambled. If heart disease is ignored serious or even possibly fatal repercussions can occur. So if you have detected some hearing loss and have a history of diabetes or heart disease in your family you should seek advice from both a hearing and a cardiac specialist so that you can determine if your hearing loss is connected to a heart condition.
If you want to start living a healthier life, contact us so we can help you address any adverse effects of hearing loss that you might suffer.