Hearing deficit is hazardously sneaky. It creeps up on you over the years so little by little you barely notice, making it easy to deny or ignore. And afterwards, when you eventually recognize the symptoms, you shrug it off as bothersome and aggravating because its real effects are hidden.
For close to 48 million American citizens that report some measure of hearing loss, the repercussions are considerably greater than only aggravation and frustration.1 listed here are 8 reasons why untreated hearing loss is a great deal more dangerous than you might think:
1. Connection to Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
A study from Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute on Aging indicates that those with hearing loss are appreciably more liable to suffer from dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, in contrast with those who retain their ability to hear.2
Whereas the reason for the connection is ultimately undetermined, researchers believe that hearing loss and dementia might share a common pathology, or that years and years of straining the brain to hear could cause damage. A different explanation is that hearing loss quite often leads to social isolation — a leading risk factor for dementia.
No matter what the cause, restoring hearing may very well be the optimum prevention, which includes the use of hearing aids.
2. Depression and social isolation
Researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered a strong link between hearing loss and depression among American adults of all ages and races.3
3. Not hearing alerts to danger
Automobile horns, ambulance and law enforcement sirens, and fire alarms all are developed to alert you to potential dangers. If you miss these indicators, you put yourself at an increased risk of injury.
4. Memory impairment and mental decline
Research studies indicate that adults with hearing loss endure a 40% greater rate of decline in cognitive function compared to people with healthy hearing.4 The top author of the study, Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, stated that “going forward for the next 30 or 40 years that from a public health perspective, there’s nothing more important than cognitive decline and dementia as the population ages.” that is the reason why raising awareness as to the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline is Dr. Lin’s foremost concern.
5. Reduced household income
In a review of more than 40,000 households conducted by the Better Hearing Institute, hearing loss was discovered to negatively affect household income up to $12,000 annually, based on the extent of hearing loss.5 individuals who used hearing aids, however, decreased this impact by 50%.
The capacity to communicate at the job is vital to job performance and promotion. The fact is, communication skills are time and again ranked as the number one job-related skill-set targeted by managers and the top factor for promotion.
6. Auditory deprivation – use it or lose it
When it comes to the human body, “use it or lose it” is a motto to live by. As an example, if we don’t use our muscles, they atrophy or reduce in size as time passes, and we end up losing strength. It’s only through physical activity and repetitive use that we can recoup our physical strength.
The equivalent phenomenon is applicable to hearing: as our hearing weakens, we get caught in a downward spiral that only gets worse. This is identified as auditory deprivation, and a fast growing body of research is confirming the “hearing atrophy” that can happen with hearing loss.
7. Underlying medical conditions
Although the most common cause of hearing loss is associated with age and persistent direct exposure to loud sound, hearing loss is from time to time the symptom of a more significant, underlying medical condition. Potential conditions include:
- Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes
- Otosclerosis – the solidifying of the middle ear bones
- Ménière’s disease – a condition of the inner ear affecting hearing and balance
- Traumatic injuries
- Infections, earwax buildup, or blockages from foreign objects
- Medications – there are more than 200 medications and chemicals that are known to cause hearing and balance issues
Because of the seriousness of some of the ailments, it is imperative that any hearing loss is quickly evaluated.
8. Higher risk of falls
Research has revealed multitude of connections between hearing loss and serious ailments like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and anxiety. A further study conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins University has discovered yet another disheartening connection: the connection between hearing loss and the risk of falls.6
The study reveals that individuals with a 25-decibel hearing loss, categorized as mild, were nearly three times more likely to have a record of falling. And for every extra 10-decibels of hearing loss, the probability of falling increased by 1.4 times.
Don’t wait to get your hearing tested
The positive part to all of this pessimistic research is the suggestion that retaining or restoring your hearing can help to lower or eliminate these risks entirely. For the people that have normal hearing, it is more crucial than ever to protect it. And for the people suffering with hearing loss, it’s imperative to seek the help of a hearing specialist right away.
- Hearing Loss Association of America: Basic Facts About Hearing Loss
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: Hearing Loss and Dementia Linked in Study
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: NIDCD Researchers Find Strong Link between Hearing Loss and Depression in Adults
- Medscape: Hearing Loss Linked to Cognitive Decline, Impairment
- Better Hearing Institute: The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: Hearing Loss Linked to Three-Fold Risk of Falling