Do you suspect that you may be hard of hearing? Surprisingly the average person with hearing difficulties waits more than five years to see a health care professional about their hearing loss*. While hearing loss is not a life threatening condition, it does lower the overall quality of life for those suffering from it. There is a large body of medical research linking hearing loss to far more serious medical conditions. Fortunately clinical studies have shown that hearing aids are properly fitted they significantly improve the overall quality of life for their users.
There is danger in putting off a decision regarding hearing difficulties as not only does your hearing worsen, you can be putting yourself at risk for more serious health effects.Researchers have been studying the connection between hearing loss with high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, depression, dementia, kidney disease, and diabetes. It’s best to take action and avoid the dangers of untreated hearing loss
The Effects of Auditory Deprivation
Auditory deprivation is the term used to describe a decrease in speech understanding resulting from a hearing loss. In simple terms, hearing loss starves the auditory centers in the brain of acoustic information. The longer you wait the worse your understanding becomes. Hearing aids which keeps your auditory centers of your brain to “stay busy”.
Dementia and Hearing Loss
Doctors have long noted older patients with hearing loss also suffered from high rates of dementia. But they weren’t sure how the two were connected.
Frank Lin and fellow researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical School and the National Institute on Aging have been studying the link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline. Researchers believe the issue is something called “cognitive reserve.” When the brain is working and devoting extra resources to deciphering words and sounds, it simply loses capacity. The isolation brought on by hearing loss compounds the problem, as people with fewer social interactions have less stimulation and get far less “exercise” for their brains.
Hearing Loss and Income
The Better Hearing Institute studied 40,000 household and found that people with untreated hearing loss earn significantly less than people with normal hearing or those who treat their hearing loss. That difference can be as much as $30,000 per year in annual income. Fortunately high-quality hearing aids correct this discrepancy up to 90% – 100%, depending on the degree of hearing loss.
Cardiovascular Disease and Hearing Loss
Hearing loss and Cardiovascular disease have been linked. Researchers believe that restricted blood flow related to CVD may first affect hearing due to the fragile nerves in the hearing system that rely on blood flow to send messages to your brain. Your hearing loss can be an indication that you have heart issues. Ignoring this sign can put your overall health at risk.
Social And Emotional Impact Of Untreated Hearing Loss
There is plenty of evidence pointing patients with untreated hearing loss suffer more from depression and social isolation compared to those of similar age who wear hearing aids. Patients with hearing loss are more likely to be depressed and suffer from the many quality of life effects of it, than patients of similar hearing loss that have chosen to wear hearing instruments.
Take control of your health, protect yourself from the dangers of untreated hearing loss, see an Audiologist to address your loss.