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Center For Better Hearing - Glens Falls, NY

Man with cardiac condition also suffering from hearing loss.

It’s a regrettable truth that hearing loss is part of the aging process. Roughly 38 million individuals suffer from hearing loss in the U . S ., though many decide to disregard it because they consider it as just a part of getting older. But beyond how well you hear, disregarding hearing loss will have severe negative side effects.

Why do so many people choose to just deal with hearing loss? Based on an AARP study, hearing loss is, thought to be by a third of seniors, a concern that is minimal and can be managed easily, while cost was a concern for more than half of individuals who took part in the study. The costs of neglecting hearing loss, though, can be a lot higher due to complications and side effects that come with ignoring it. Here are the most common adverse effects of neglecting hearing loss.

Fatigue

The dots will not be connected by most people from fatigue to hearing loss. Instead, they will blame their fatigue on countless different ideas, like slowing down due to aging or a side-effect of medication. The reality is that the less you can hear, the more your body struggles to make up for it, leaving you feeling exhausted. Remember how tired you were at times in your life when your brain needed to be completely concentrated on a task for prolonged periods of time. Once you’re finished, you probably feel drained. When you’re struggling to hear, it’s an equivalent situation: when there are missing spots in conversation, your brain has to work hard to fill in the missing information – which is usually made even harder when there’s a lot of background noise – and just attempting to process information consumes precious energy. Looking after yourself requires energy which you won’t have with this kind of chronic exhaustion. To adapt, you will skip life-essential routines such as working out or eating healthy.

Decline of Brain Function

Several studies by Johns Hopkins University linked hearing loss to decreased brain functions , increased loss of brain tissue, and dementia. Although these connections are not causation, they’re correlations, scientists think that, once again, the more cognitive resources that are used trying to fill in the blanks of a conversation, the less there are to give attention to other things including comprehension and memorization. And declining brain function, as we get older is, directly connected to an additional draw on our cognitive resources. What’s more, engaging in a regular exchange of information and ideas, usually through conversation, is thought to help seniors remain mentally fit and can help decrease the process of mental decline. The fact that a connection between cognitive function and hearing loss was found is promising for future research since hearing and cognitive specialists can collaborate to narrow down the factors and develop treatments for these ailments.

Problems With Mental Health

The National Council on the Aging carried out a study of 2,300 senior citizens who were dealing with some form of hearing loss and discovered that individuals who neglected their condition were more likely to also suffer from mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and paranoia, which negatively affected their emotional and social well-being. It makes sense that there’s a link between hearing loss and mental health problems since people who suffer from hearing loss frequently have difficulty communicating with others in family or social situations. Ultimately, feelings of isolation could become depression. If left untreated, anxiety and even paranoia can appear due to these feelings of solitude and exclusion. Hearing aids have been proven to aid in the recovery from depression, though anybody suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should consult with a mental health professional.

Heart Disease

If one portion of your body, which is an interconnected machine, stops functioning correctly, it might have an affect 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. Another condition associated with heart disease is diabetes which also has an effect on the nerve endings of the inner ear and can cause the brain to get scrambled signals. Individuals who have detected some degree of hearing loss and who have a history of heart disease or diabetes in their families should consult with both a hearing and cardiac specialist to determine whether the hearing loss is actually caused by a heart condition, since ignoring the symptoms could lead to severe, possibly fatal repercussions.

If you want to start living a healthier life, reach out to us so we can help you resolve any negative effects of hearing loss that you may suffer.

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