There are plenty of obvious reasons to address a hearing loss. We all want to keep up with conversation when there is background noise and enjoy a movie without straining to hear. However, research is showing that one of the most compelling reasons to seek help is the ways hearing impairment can impact your mental and emotional health.
Hearing loss may seem like a simple problem for the elderly. However, although age-related loss is the most common type, it can affect people of any age. Head injury, birth defects, noise exposure, and certain medications can all cause hearing loss. So many people have hearing loss that it is the second most common health problem worldwide.
The symptoms in the early stages are subtle. The mildest form of hearing loss makes soft consonant sounds and higher voices difficult to hear. This can make it hard to follow conversations, especially in noisy environments. Women and children’s voices become harder to hear. These small gaps in auditory information make your brain work harder to interpret what it’s hearing. This causes mental fatigue that can leave people feeling irritable and disconnected.
As it progresses, hearing impairment can impact people in serious ways. In the elderly population, the risk of dementia increases with hearing loss, and that risk increases the more profound the loss. It also increases the risk of depression. Even the risk of falling is three times greater in those with hearing loss. For people of any age, social isolation increases with hearing impairment. It can even affect brain function, as the loss of auditory input can cause a decrease in auditory processing ability.
Fortunately, studies show that hearing aids can help reverse these effects, enabling people to live healthy, independent lives. Hearing aid technology is better than ever and can improve hearing for more than 95% of people with hearing loss.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one might have a hearing loss, The Hearing Care Shop has resources online to guide you to the next step.
Take an online assessment of your hearing, and be connected with a local clinician if needed. We can guide you to the type of hearing aids that will best serve your needs.
Talk to professionals who can help you find the answers you need.