If you’re not managing your symptoms correctly, hearing loss can put you in the hospital. You might think that this is somewhat of an exaggeration. We usually consider hearing loss as not much more than a hassle – something that makes the news a bit tougher to hear or, at worst, makes you unknowingly agree to something you didn’t mean.
But new research is causing alarm over the long-term health impacts of untreated hearing loss.
How is Your Health Related to Hearing Loss?
At first sight, hearing loss doesn’t appear to have that much to do with other health indicators. But research carried out by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that untreated hearing loss can result in a 50% increase in visits to the hospital over time. The possibility of severe health problems goes up the longer hearing loss goes untreated.
That seems like a curious finding: what does hearing have to do with your overall health? That question can have a complicated answer.
The Connection Between Mental Health And Hearing
Untreated hearing loss has been connected with a number of other health concerns, including:
- Memory can begin failing. In fact, your odds of developing dementia double with untreated hearing loss.
- Higher instance of depression and anxiety. Simply put, neglected hearing loss can increase depression and anxiety, which in turn can have a strong negative effect on your physical body, to say nothing of your mental health.
- Balance problems. Hearing loss can make it more difficult to keep your balance and maintain situational awareness.
Hearing Aids Really Help
There’s some good news though. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School research indicates that up to 75% of the mental decline linked to hearing loss can be stopped in its tracks by one easy solution: wearing a hearing aid.
Wearing a hearing aid has a powerful impact on eliminating the risks connected to untreated hearing loss. The following improvements were noted in individuals who used hearing aids for as little as two weeks:
- Reductions in traumatic brain injuries.
- Improvements in balance and awareness.
- Improvements in brain function.
The researchers from Johns Hopkins examined data from 77,000 patients collected over around two decades. And the conclusion is surprisingly simple: protecting your hearing is crucial to preserving your health. Taking care of your hearing health also helps your finances, because being sick costs money.
Preserving Your Hearing And Your Health
Hearing loss is a perfectly common part of the aging process, although it’s not exclusive to getting older. Due to accidents, occupational hazards, and disease, hearing loss can happen at any age.
However, it’s essential to acknowledge any hearing loss you may be experiencing. Your health could depend on it.