For many people, hearing loss is an inconvenience, but new research from Johns Hopkins suggests that it is linked with a greater risk of serious health problems. Research at Johns Hopkins shows that hearing loss is connected to an increased risk of dementia. Those with mild hearing problems are twice as likely to develop the disease, while those people with moderate hearing problems triple the risk. Severe hearing impairment increases the chances of getting dementia by five times.
The Hidden Risks of Hearing Loss (Its Link to Health)
Hearing loss isn’t just an inconvenience—it’s a serious health threat. In fact, hearing loss is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the U.S. But, unlike other health problems like diabetes and heart disease, no one is screening for it routinely.
The Impact of Unaddressed Hearing Loss
1 – Social Isolation and Loneliness
People with untreated hearing loss often withdraw from social activities. They stop going to movies, concerts, and even restaurants. They don’t want to go to games or other events because they can’t hear well. They stop enjoying hobbies, like gardening or reading.
2 – Depression
Some people don’t like going places because they are embarrassed about their hearing loss and the way that it makes them feel different. Others feel frustrated and angry that they aren’t able to communicate with their friends and family. For some, these feelings can lead to depression.
3 – Memory Loss
Not only hearing loss but untreated hearing loss too can be a risk factor for memory loss. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the risk of memory loss and dementia goes up for people who already have hearing loss.
4 – Low Self-Esteem
In addition to feeling frustrated and angry, some people with untreated hearing loss may feel that they are not able to participate in social and recreational activities. They feel socially isolated or alienated.
5 – Increased Risk of Falls
Unaddressed hearing loss can lead to an increased risk of falls. This is especially important for older adults. A review of the scientific literature on the relationship between hearing loss and falls in older adults showed that people with hearing loss had a higher risk of falls and associated injuries.
6 – Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes
Studies have shown a strong association between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. People who have untreated hearing loss have more than three times the risk of having a stroke and twice the risk of a heart attack. They also are more likely to develop diabetes.
There are many risks of hearing loss that people don’t think of. Most people think that it is a disability that prevents you from doing many things or attending events. However, aside from this, it can also cause social isolation, mood changes, and even serious health problems like dementia and diabetes. These are some of the reasons why those who experience hearing loss should see a hearing specialist right away to get tested.
Should you be looking for a hearing clinic in Abbotsford, visit Fraser Valley Beltone. At Beltone Hearing Centre in Langley and Abbotsford, we take an approach to hearing care that no other company can match. It’s based on connecting with you as a person – and understanding what you enjoy in life and what’s important in a healthcare partner.