The unfortunate reality is, as you age, your hearing starts to fail. Approximately 38 million people suffer from hearing loss in the U . S ., but many choose to disregard it because they think about it as just a part of aging. But beyond how well you hear, ignoring hearing loss will have serious adverse side effects.
Why do many people choose to simply live with hearing loss? Based on an AARP study, more than one-third of senior citizens consider hearing loss to be a minor problem that can be managed easily enough, while price was a concern for more than half of those who took part in the study. But, those costs can increase incredibly when you factor in the serious side effects and conditions that are brought on by neglecting hearing loss. Here are the most common negative consequences of neglecting hearing loss.
The majority of people won’t immediately put two and two together from fatigue to hearing loss. Instead, they will attribute fatigue to several different ideas, like slowing down due to aging or a side-effect of medication. The reality is that the less you’re able to hear, the more your body struggles to make up for it, leaving you feeling exhausted. 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 done, you likely feel exhausted. When you’re struggling to hear, it’s a similar situation: when there are missing spots in conversation, your brain needs to work hard to fill in the missing information – which, when there is too much background noise, is even more difficult – and consumes precious energy just trying to manage the conversation. This type of chronic tiredness can impact your health by leaving you too tired to care for yourself, skipping out on things like going to the gym or cooking wholesome meals.
Decline of Cognitive Function
Hearing loss has been linked, by numerous Johns Hopkins University studies, to diminishe cognitive functions , accelerated loss of brain tissue, and dementia. While these connections are correlations, instead of causations, researchers think that, again, the more frequently you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which consumes cognitive resources, the less you have to give attention to other things like memorization and comprehension. And as people age, the increased draw on cognitive resources can accelerate the decline of other brain functions and can lead to loss of gray matter. Additionally, engaging in a regular exchange of information and ideas, often through conversation, is believed to help seniors stay mentally fit and can help decrease the process of mental decline. The fact that a connection was discovered between hearing loss and a decline in cognitive functions is encouraging for future research since hearing and cognitive specialists can collaborate to pinpoint the factors and develop treatment options for these ailments.
Concerns With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging found, from a study of more than two thousand senior citizens, that mental health issues which have a negative emotional and social affect, are more prevalent if there is also neglected hearing loss. The link between mental health issues and hearing loss adds up since, in family and social situations, individuals who cope with hearing loss have a difficult time interacting with others. Eventually, feelings of isolation could develop into depression. Feelings of exclusion and separation can worsen to anxiety and even paranoia if neglected. Hearing aids have been proven to aid in the recovery from depression, though anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should contact a mental health professional.
If one part of your body, which is a coordinated machine, stops functioning properly, it might have an affect on seemingly unrelated bodily functions. This is the situation with our hearts and ears. As a case in point, if blood flow from the heart to the inner ear is restricted, hearing loss could occur. Another condition connected to heart disease is diabetes which also impacts the nerve endings of the inner ear and can cause the brain to receive scrambled signals. People who have detected some amount of hearing loss and who have a history of diabetes or heart disease in their families should consult with both a hearing and cardiac specialist to figure out whether the hearing loss is actually caused by a heart condition, since overlooking the symptoms might lead to serious, possibly fatal consequences.
If you deal with hearing loss or are experiencing any of the negative effects listed above, please get in touch with us so we can help you live a healthier life.