Hearing loss doesn’t just affect your ability to follow conversations or watch your favorite television show. Left untreated, the condition can cause a variety of problems that lower your quality of life and worsen your health.
Hearing Loss Worsens Mental Health
Hearing loss makes it harder to communicate with others. You may struggle to follow conversations whether on the phone or when out with friends at 309 Coffee. This can lead to feelings of frustration and loneliness. You may begin to isolate yourself from others and experience higher levels of depression and anxiety as a result.
Balance Issues and Dizziness
Your inner ear plays a vital role in both maintaining balance and helping you hear. Therefore, there are conditions that can affect both functions. Hearing loss can also increase feelings of disorientation and steadiness, leading to worsening balance and potential injury from falls.
Hearing Loss Increases Risk of Cognitive Decline
One of the more serious conditions linked to hearing loss is cognitive decline and dementia. Previous research has shown that people with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia. While the link between the two conditions is not entirely understood, scans have shown that hearing loss may contribute to a faster rate of atrophy in the brain.
Hearing Problems and Gut Health
While you probably wouldn’t think that your hearing could in any way impact your gut, the fact is that hearing loss often causes increased stress levels. Higher levels of stress and anxiety have long been known to cause problems such as trouble eating, upset stomach and abdominal cramps, among others.
Treating Hearing Loss Can Improve Your Health
While the consequences of untreated hearing loss can be serious, scheduling a hearing test at the first sign of problems will lead to earlier treatment interventions and better health outcomes.
The most common treatment is hearing aids. Not only do they make it easier to process speech and sounds, but research has also shown they can actively reduce the negative health consequences of hearing loss.
A study conducted in 2013 found that hearing aid use in older individuals with hearing loss was significantly associated with a reduced odds of major depressive disorder and other depression symptoms.
The sooner you act to address any concerns you have about your hearing, the better it will be for your mental, physical and cognitive health. Call Hill Country Audiology to speak with an expert or schedule an appointment today.