It’s an unfortunate fact of life that hearing loss is part of the aging process. Approximately 38 million individuals cope with hearing loss in the U . S ., though many choose to disregard it because they consider it as just a part of aging. Ignoring hearing loss, however, can have major adverse side effects on a person’s general well-being beyond how well they hear.
Why is the decision to simply ignore hearing loss one that lots of people consider? According to an AARP study, hearing loss is, thought to be by a third of seniors, a problem that’s minimal and can be managed easily, while price was a worry for more than half of people who took part in the study. However, those costs can rise astronomically when you take into account the significant adverse reactions and ailments that are brought on by ignoring hearing loss. What are the most common challenges of neglecting hearing loss?
Most people will not instantly put two and two together from fatigue to hearing loss. Instead, they will attribute fatigue to countless different ideas, like slowing down because of aging or a side-effect of medication. The fact is that the less you can hear, the more your body struggles to make up for it, leaving you feeling tired. Think about taking an exam like the SAT where your brain is completely concentrated on processing the task in front of you. Once you’re finished, you probably feel drained. When you are struggling to hear, it’s a similar scenario: when there are missing spots in conversation, your brain has to work extra hard to fill in the missing information – which, when there’s enough background noise, is even harder – and uses up precious energy just trying to process the conversation. Looking after yourself takes energy that you won’t have with this type of chronic fatigue. To adapt, you will avoid life-essential activities like working out or eating healthy.
A number of studies by Johns Hopkins University connected hearing loss to decreased cognitive functions , increased loss of brain tissue, and dementia. While these connections are correlations, instead of causations, researchers think that, once again, the more mental resources that are spent trying to fill in the blanks of a conversation, the less there are to focus on other things like comprehension and memorization. And decreasing brain function, as we age is, directly linked to an additional draw on our cognitive resources. Moreover, it’s believed that the process of mental decline can be lessened and mental fitness can be maintained by a continued exchange of ideas, usually through conversation. Luckily, cognitive specialist and hearing specialist can use the known link between cognitive decline and hearing loss to work together to undertake research and establish treatments that are encouraging in the near future.
Concerns With Mental Health
The National Council on the Aging found, from a study of more than two thousand seniors, that mental health problems that have a negative emotional and social impact, are more prevalent if there is also neglected hearing loss. It makes sense that there’s a connection between mental health and hearing loss problems since, in family and social situations, individuals who suffer from hearing loss have a hard time interacting with others. Eventually, feelings of isolation could become depression. If left untreated, anxiety and even paranoia can appear as a result of these feelings of separation and exclusion. If you are dealing with anxiety or depression, you need to consult a mental health professional and you also should be aware that hearing aids have been proven to help people recover from some forms of depression.
If one part of your body, which is an interconnected machine, stops working properly, it might have an impact on apparently unrelated bodily functions. This is the case with our hearts and ears. Case in point, hearing loss will occur when blood doesn’t easily flow from the heart to the inner ear. Diabetes, which is also linked to heart disease, can affect the inner ear’s nerve endings and cause messages sent to the brain from the ear to become scrambled. Individuals 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 indeed caused by a heart condition, since ignoring the symptoms might lead to serious, possibly fatal repercussions.
If you want to begin living a healthier life, contact us so we can help you solve any adverse effects of hearing loss that you might suffer.