Dealing with hearing loss has several associated side effects that impact all aspects of a person’s life. If you suspect you’re having hearing problems or you have a loved one whose hearing is diminishing, it’s important to get help. Hearing loss is a serious matter with a number of risks if left untreated. Find out more below.
Reduced hearing impacts more than your physical body, it takes a toll emotionally on both those suffering and the loved ones offering support. Growing irritable, angry, sad, tired, stressed, depressed, and developing a reduced alertness are just some common symptoms one may feel with a diminished hearing ability.
Social isolation and rejection are frequent and unfortunate consequences experienced by many people with hearing problems. The inability to hear everything coupled with the constant need for statements to be repeated leads many to withdraw from social outings, feeling as if people don’t want to hang out with them. What’s more, many who experience hearing loss find it both difficult and draining to keep up with the noise of social outings.
Research shows that depression in seniors with a hearing loss is high. But it doesn’t end with depression, older people untreated with hearing loss are more likely to suffer from dementia, according to John Hopkins Medicine and the National Institute on Aging. These changes in the brain affect processing and remembering, resulting in a frustrating experience.
The mental factors might be harder to quantify, but there are some very measurable factors. Cognitive decline, fear of falling, and other health risks are well-known among those with diminished hearing when left untreated.
Cognitive decline is a serious consequence. As hearing affects the ability to process speech, difficulty in this department means dedicating more energy to perceiving and understanding speech and sounds. When more mental energy is diverted to these tasks, less energy is available to apply toward storing, processing, and making sense of what was said. Cognitive decline has also been linked to an increase in brain shrinkage.
Ears pick up sound as we move, and this helps us stay balanced. Untreated hearing problems inadvertently lead people to worry about their safety, as they cannot properly hear and pick up noises around them. Falling becomes a real fear. Similar to cognitive decline, additional mental resources are required to maintain balance and gait that compensate for hearing difficulties. Even a mild hearing loss requires an increase in the brain’s energy towards tasks that used to require less energy.
It’s not only your mind that’s affected, hearing loss has been linked to other issues, such as diabetes and heart disease. Don’t let this happen to you: deal with hearing loss as soon as you can.
The Best Way to Cope
Don’t postpone treatment regarding your hearing loss. This is a problem that needs serious treatment and an appointment with a doctoral-level audiologist for the best care and help. Treating the loss helps diminish the above symptoms so you can live your life to the fullest.
Don’t let it become a major problem and don’t be reluctant to seek help. All of these issues are manageable if treated. Audiologists work to improve your hearing ability and have the necessary education and technology to offer customized solutions that will improve your quality of life. The first step you can take is to meet with a doctoral-level audiologist. They’ll work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan, conduct diagnostic testing, and recommend the appropriate care for your lifestyle.
You can’t put a price on the quality of life, and hearing loss shouldn’t deter you from your personal relationships and engagements. Schedule an appointment with the professionals at Associated Audiologists to improve your hearing.