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The Hidden Risks of Hearing Loss

doctor is checking on woman with hearing loss

Although hearing loss can be frustrating and isolating, many people assume it's a natural part of the aging process. Unfortunately, this reduces the number of people who seek help for their hearing loss and leaves that at risk of further health issues. 

Your hearing function plays a major role in your health and your day-to-day life. By allowing hearing loss to remain untreated, you may find that that you're at a higher risk of developing further conditions. In many instances, addressing your hearing loss is easier than you think. With assistance from a qualified hearing instrument specialist, you can find an appropriate solution to your hearing loss and reduce the risks of developing related conditions, illnesses or health problems.

1. Dementia

Studies into hearing loss have shown that it is linked to a higher rate of atrophy within the brain. When brain cells wither or weaken, dementia can occur. In essence, it's possible that untreated hearing loss could increase the risk of developing dementia. 

As many people feel isolated when they're experiencing hearing loss, they tend to interact with other people less. This social isolation may also be a factor in the development of dementia, so it's important to address your hearing loss in order to minimize the risk of cognitive decline. 

2. Falls and accidents

Our ears play a crucial role in our ability to balance and hearing loss can have an impact on how well we move and get around. Untreated hearing loss could increase the risk of falls and subsequent injuries, which could cause a whole range of health factors. 

In addition to this, hearing loss may prevent you from noticing when hazards are nearby. If you can't hear a vehicle approaching a junction, for example, you may not see it until it's too late to move out its path. Of course, being unable to hear potential hazards puts you at greater risk of accidents and injuries too. 

3. Depression

People with untreated hearing loss can find it embarrassing and frustrating when in social situations. Due to this, they may refuse invitations and stop socializing with friends, colleagues and family members. By isolating themselves, they are inadvertently increasing their risk of developing depression.

Social isolation can have an extremely negative impact on a person's health and wellbeing. With less stimulating and interaction, depression is more likely to occur. While depression is, in itself, a devastating condition, it can also increase your risk of developing other health problems. By addressing your hearing loss, however, social isolation and related health problems could be avoided.

4. Diabetes

Studies have suggested that diabetes could affect blood flow to the cochlea, which may result in hearing loss. Although this would imply that diabetes can cause or contribute to hearing loss, rather than the other way around, this could be an important indicator of diabetes.

If you aren't experiencing any other symptoms, for example, your diabetes could go undetected for some time and have a negative impact on your health. When you seek help from a hearing instrument specialist, they will be able to identify the type of hearing loss you're experiencing and tell which conditions could be related to it. 

5. Heart disease

Although the link between hearing loss and heart disease isn't yet fully understood, there does appear to be one. Studies have shown that people experiencing hearing loss tend to have a higher incidence of heart disease than those without hearing problems. 

Whether hearing loss increases the risk of heart disease or cardiovascular problems enhance the risk of developing hearing loss, it's not yet known. However, seeking help for your hearing loss could help to establish whether there are any underlying health issues causing or being caused by it.

Consulting a hearing instrument specialist

Seeking professional help for hearing loss can be daunting, particularly if it's something you've put off for some time. However, professional intervention can ensure access to appropriate treatments and minimize the risk of developing additional or subsequent health problems. 

Resolving hearing loss and being able to hear clearly again will have a considerable impact on your quality of life and your day-to-day activities. As well as making it easier to navigate the world, you'll find the appropriate treatments, like hearing aids, can restore your passion for communicating and socializing.

To learn more about hearing loss and how our hearing instrument specialists can help you, contact Armand's Hearing Center by calling Bradenton at 941-748-9800 or Sun City at 813-938-1148.