An older person with an old-fashioned hearing aid saying “what’s that sonny”, is what most people think about when hearing loss is talked about. Affecting more than just your ability to hear, hearing loss has escalated dramatically amongst all age groups. There are alarming health consequences for people who ignore it. These four by themselves make it worth having your hearing checked.
1. Mental Decline
Hearing is a sense that you may not link to other health troubles but there is a connection. Your cognitive function and brain health are the most significant example. Some conditions frequently connected to aging are really caused by hearing loss.
When it comes to hearing loss, the brain’s inherent ability to adjust to sensory changes backfires. Sound is processed through the inner ear in a way the brain can understand if hearing is normal. This mechanism permits you to tell the difference between the music coming from your car stereo and the music the ice cream truck plays as it goes down your street.
Even if you don’t notice it, the brain encounters sound every microsecond. There is still ambient sound around you even if you are relaxing in a quiet room, such as air hissing in through a vent. Your brain filters it out because it decides you don’t need to hear it.
The brain comes to expect this stimulus. The brain doesn’t get the same quality or quantity of sound when there is loss of hearing. It strains to find the missing sound believing it should still be present. Your chance of dementia is increased as the absence of stimuli results in cognitive decline as a result of increased stress on the brain. Seniors have a forty percent higher rate of memory loss and cognitive decline if they suffer from hearing loss, according to studies. Even more persuasive, people with hearing loss that get treatment such as hearings aids have been shown to enhance cognitive ability.
2. Gut Trouble
That seems like it might seem far-fetched, but it’s not. Side effects associated with changes you experience because of hearing loss are:
- Muscle tension
- Upset stomach
The continuous stress can cause intestinal issues like:
- Abdominal cramps
More serious conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome will happen as your discomfort increases.
3. Mental Health Concerns
The impact hearing loss has on your mental health is probably the most noticeable side effect. A 2014 study found that in adults below the age of 70, an increase in depression correlates to a loss of hearing.
The depression is most likely accounted for by the fact that people who suffer from hearing loss have a tough time communicating with others, according to JAMA Otolaryngology Neck Surgery. The research indicates that for women between the ages of 18 to 69 the depression is more prominent.
Over the years, many mental health conditions have been connected to untreated hearing loss such as:
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of focus
People stop trying if they can’t communicate effectively and that leads to depression and psychological anxiety.
4. Relationship Troubles
The adverse reactions of hearing loss impacts more than your physical and mental health. Statistically, if a person has hearing loss, they will probably make less money. A 2007 study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute found individuals with untreated hearing loss make on average 20,000 dollars less a year than their hearing colleagues.
Hearing loss causes problems in personal relationships, too. A 2007 survey found 35 percent of the respondents had a hard time maintaining relationships if they suffered from hearing loss. The survey showed:
- Most women indicated that hearing loss was a significant concern when communicating with friends and family members.
- Thirty-seven percent of women interviewed reported getting frustrated when somebody who has hearing loss wasn’t listening to them
- Thirty-five percent of men reported they agreed to treatment for hearing loss because their spouse or partner pressured them into it
- Forty-three percent of men indicated that they had trouble with relationships due to their hearing loss
Hearing loss has an effect on your relationships as well as your health and how you feel about yourself. When you get hearing aids quite a few of these side effects go away and that’s good news. Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist to find out what course of action is best for you.