You can wind up in the hospital if you don’t properly manage your hearing loss symptoms. I know that sounds like an exaggeration. We’re used to thinking of hearing loss as not much more than an inconvenience – something that makes the news a bit more difficult to hear or, at worst, makes you unwittingly agree to something you didn’t mean.
But the long-term health effects of untreated hearing loss is beginning to get serious attention from researchers.
What Does Hearing Loss Have to do With Your Health?
At first sight, hearing loss doesn’t seem to have that much to do with other health indicators. But research conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health indicates that over time, visits to the hospital can increase by up to 50% for someone with neglected hearing loss. The longer the hearing loss remains unmanaged, the more significant the health troubles get.
That seems like a strange finding: how is your general state of health associated with your ability to hear? The answer is complicated.
The Connection Between Mental Health And Hearing
Untreated hearing loss has been associated with a number of other health issues, like:
- Higher instance of depression and anxiety. Simply put, neglected hearing loss can increase depression and anxiety, which in turn can have a powerfully negative impact on your physical body, not to mention your mental health.
- Memory can begin failing. As a matter of fact, your odds of developing dementia is twice as high with neglected hearing loss.
- Balance problems. Hearing loss can make it more difficult to keep your balance and keep your situational awareness.
Hearing Aids: An effective Answer
It’s not all gloom and doom, though. Far from it. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School research suggests that up to 75% of hearing loss associated cognitive decline can be stopped in its tracks by one basic solution: using a hearing aid.
Wearing a hearing aid has a profound impact on putting an end to the risks associated with untreated hearing loss. According to the research, people who used hearing aids for just two weeks saw:
- Improvements in awareness and balance.
- Traumatic brain injury reductions.
- Improvements in brain function.
The researchers from Johns Hopkins looked at data from 77,000 patients accumulated over about twenty years. And a critical part of maintaining your health lies in protecting your hearing which is a surprising outcome. Taking care of your hearing health also benefits your finances, because being sick can be expensive.
Caring For Your Health And Your Hearing
Hearing loss is not exclusive to getting older but it is a part of it. Hearing loss can occur at any age because of accidents, occupational hazards, or diseases.
However, it’s essential to address any hearing loss you might be experiencing. Otherwise, your health could be negatively impacted.