You must have been taking your overall health seriously, meaning you work out constantly and you monitor your food intake regularly. The same is true for your oral health. You brush and floss your teeth regularly, and you visit your dentist every now and then. When it comes to your eyesight, you do what you can to maintain your 20/20 vision by not reading too much or resting your eyes every so often.
What about your hearing health? Do you take care of it or not? Chances are you hear buzzing sounds every now and then, or you feel like you’re a bit deaf when engaging in a conversation, but you just ignore all that. But you know, you shouldn’t get your hearing health for granted, as that may cause serious problems in the future. Not convinced? Here’s why you must take care of your hearing health:
Did you know that hearing is actually a brain function? The brain translates impulses from the ear into the sounds that we know and understand. That’s how we are able to enjoy good music or absorb information in a conversation. Here’s the thing: when you experience hearing loss, your brain tends to “reassign” this to other senses, such as the sense of sight or touch. If you have untreated hearing loss, chances are it may lead to brain atrophy.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
In line with brain atrophy, older adults with untreated hearing loss are more prone to developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, recent studies show that attending to your hearing health and treating hearing loss immediately lower the risk of developing these conditions. These findings were presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London.
Risk of Falling
Taking your hearing health for granted may affect your vestibular system. This may lead to the risk of falling, which is apparently an unhealthy side effect of hearing loss. In fact, studies show that falls are the leading cause of accidents among older people aged 65 years and above. A study conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Institute of Aging says that even a mild case of hearing loss can triple the risk of falling.
Listener fatigue is another effect that may be attributed to your hearing problems. What exactly is listener fatigue? It is a phenomenon that occurs after prolonged exposure to auditory stimuli. Because of this, you experience tiredness, discomfort, pain, and loss of sensitivity. Apparently, your brain may be working hard to translate the sounds in your environment, leading you to get worn out.
Your hearing problems may affect your emotional state. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says 11 percent of those with untreated hearing loss had depression, compared to only five percent of the general population. Chances are those with untreated hearing loss may experience anxiety, depression, and paranoia, among other things.
Finally, untreated hearing loss may have negative repercussions in your relationships with friends, family, colleagues, and even with your partner. This may lead to difficult conversations, frustration, social isolation, and dwindling confidence. In fact, studies show that the breakdown in communication actually resulted in a loss of relationships, including marriages.
If you’d like to check the conditions of your ears, come on down to Fraser Valley Beltone today!