When someone is experiencing hearing loss, there are a wide variety of different ways in which this can end up negatively impacting their overall health and sense of wellbeing, in addition to getting in the way of their ability to thrive and to live their lives in the manner they would prefer.
Of course, hearing loss can make it harder for you to follow along with conversations and can therefore lead to a variety of communication issues which can be both stressful and disheartening. Untreated hearing loss can also make it more difficult to navigate broader society in a variety of different ways, such as with regards to hearing traffic updates on the radio, being able to directly follow along with what a store assistant or what waiter’s might be saying to you.
When it comes right down to it, however, unaddressed hearing loss symptoms can actually end up leading to much more serious consequences. Although it might seem like an overstatement or an exaggeration, it is in fact the case that not properly addressing your hearing loss and managing your symptoms could lead to you ending up in the hospital.
For many people, this statement is likely to be somewhat shocking, as we are usually accustomed to viewing hearing loss as essentially being an inconvenience, but nothing much more serious than that. It might make it more difficult to navigate everyday situations, so the thinking goes, but it’s not going to end up posing a serious health risk.
As a matter of fact, however, the serious long-term health implications of hearing loss are starting to get more attention from a variety of different researchers and a clear picture is being painted of some of the ways in which real health consequences may be a downstream effect.
How Could Hearing Loss Impact Your Heath?
At a casual glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that hearing loss has essentially nothing to do with overall health. After all, it’s difficult to see a direct connection.While at might first seem obvious, however, can end up being deceiving. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that, statistically speaking, there does indeed seem to be a clear connection.
According to the team’s research, untreated and unaddressed hearing loss can end up resulting in a full 50% increase in total hospital visits over time. What’s more, the risk of severe health issues appears to go up over time as the hearing loss continues to go untreated.
Clearly, this is a somewhat confusing and tricky finding to unravel. What exactly could be the basis of this apparent trend?
Health Conditions Affected by Hearing Loss
When you look at the issue of hearing loss and health conditions in a more in-depth, fine-grained manner, it quickly becomes apparent that there are several difficult health issues that may be associated with hearing loss.
- Issues with balance: As hearing and ear health are closely connected to both balance and situational awareness, untreated hearing loss may increase your risk of losing balance and sustaining falls, in addition to ending up in physically dangerous situations over the course of day-to-day life.
- Elevated rates of anxiety and depression: Untreated hearing loss is, unfortunately, correlated with increased rates of anxiety and depression and both of these conditions are associated with an increased risk of serious health issues
- Memory issues: Untreated hearing loss is thought to double the risk of dementia
Hearing Aids are Highly Effective at Counteracting These Health Risks
Fortunately, there is one very clear positive note when it comes to the various health issues associated with untreated hearing loss. That is, simply put, the fact that hearing aids are highly effective at counteracting these risks.
According to the same Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School research already mentioned, which investigated data from 77,000 patients gathered over approximately two decades, 75% of hearing loss related mental decline can be halted by using a hearing aid.
Furthermore, individuals who used hearing aids for even just two weeks experienced:
- Significant improvements in balance and awareness.
- Improved brain function.
- A reduction in the risk of severe brain injury.
Arrange an Audiologist Visit Today
Arranging a consultation with our trained audiologists at Albuquerque Hearing and Balance can help you to move past the issues associated with hearing loss and can enable you to thrive and live your best life. Call us today at (505) 750-9569 to learn more.