The Hidden Risks of Hearing Loss
Anyone who experiences a sudden loss of hearing tends to seek out medical treatment quickly. Hearing loss with age can be very gradual. Many consider the loss of hearing in old age to be a normal part of life and often go untreated.
When hearing loss is left untreated, it can expose the sufferer to increased risks when it comes to other conditions.
Here are some of the hidden dangers of hearing loss, particularly when left untreated.
A Decline in Mental Health
Socializing can become understandably problematic for those suffering with hearing loss. Not only can it become increasingly frustrating to navigate conversations, but it can be a source of embarrassment, too. This sadly leaves many to withdraw from their usual level of social function, declining invitations, avoiding catch-ups with friends and family members, and generally spending far more time alone. This isolation can leave them more vulnerable to a decline in their mental health.
There is a reason why solitary confinement is a serious punishment used in prisons, and that is because isolation from others is profoundly difficult for the human brain to endure for long periods of time. With limited-to-no social stimulation and connection with others, the risks of developing depression or anxiety increase exponentially. Furthermore, depression can then create other health challenges through inactivity and a weakened immune system.
Does Hearing Loss Cause Dementia?
Sadly, studies have found a link between hearing loss and an increased risk of brain atrophy, and when the cells in our brain weaken, the chances of developing dementia increase.
That said, the research also supports the theory that appropriately treating hearing loss can significantly reduce the onset of dementia and other cognitive declines. Social isolation can also be a contributor to the onset of dementia, so for a variety of reasons relating to cognitive health, it is so important to have any hearing loss medically addressed.
An Increased Risk of Accidents Occuring
The health and structure of our ears is pivotal to our sense of balance, and losing our hearing can result in mobility challenges. This is why untreated hearing loss can significantly increase the risk of suffering injuries from falls, which could in turn result in secondary health issues, too.
It is also important to recognize how vital our hearing is when it comes to being alerted to a host of potential hazards. If you’re out walking, for example, and you don’t hear a speeding car coming towards you in time, the outcome could be disastrous.
Other Related Health Conditions
The relationship between heart disease and hearing loss is yet to be defined, but studies show that there does appear to be one. Research has demonstrated that individuals who are hard of hearing are at higher risk of developing heart disease than those who aren’t.
Whether this link is correlative or causative is as yet unknown, but to be sure, it’s best to not only seek hearing loss treatment but to have your heart health checked up on, too.
Another prominent area of study is the link between diabetes and hearing loss, with research suggesting that diabetes can cause a loss of hearing by affecting the flow of blood to our cochlea. While this is not a case of hearing loss causing diabetes, it is an important finding that could help more people with hearing loss to uncover a diabetes diagnosis and have it treated.
Undetected and untreated diabetes can lead to further health implications. So, when seeking medical advice regarding hearing loss, the medical health professional should advise upon potentially related conditions depending upon the type of hearing loss diagnosed.
How to Treat Hearing Loss
First and foremost, seek a medical diagnosis as soon as you suspect the early warning signs of hearing loss. The sooner you act, the greater your chances of adapting to the changes with ease and avoiding a number of adverse risks associated with leaving it untreated.
Once diagnosed, an audiologist can assist you with deciding upon the best treatment plan for you, which usually involves wearing a hearing aid. Your audiologist can guide you through the whole process including fitting and overseeing your use of these new aids.
Alternatively, you can access hearing aids online. Some may prefer to go the traditional medical route, but for others, the convenience and affordability of online options is a more attractive solution. There are many useful online resources like Eargo reviews to give you a better understanding of what is available, so do some research and shop around to ensure that you decide on a model that best suits your needs.
Hearing loss can be a scary experience, and while it’s understandable to avoid facing it, the risks associated with leaving it untreated as simply not worth taking. You deserve the very best possible quality of life, so don’t leave such an important thing as hearing loss unaddressed. You will feel so much better once you prioritize it and can regain your confidence in so many areas of your life.
About Carex Health Brands
Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.