It may surprise you to learn that hearing loss affects more than just your hearing. This chronic condition can have a variety of mental, emotional and even physical side effects. Below is an overview of how hearing loss can affect your health and wellbeing in ways you may not expect.
Hearing loss affects brain health. If you can’t hear well, your brain is not receiving as much auditory input as it should. Just like your muscles, if your brain is not working hard, it loses strength. Evidence from studies published by Johns Hopkins has shown that people with untreated hearing loss are at higher risk of developing dementia than those with normal hearing. Fortunately, treating your hearing loss can prevent or delay the effects of cognitive decline.
Poor Mental Health
Hearing loss is an extremely isolating experience, and the resulting mental health problems can be as difficult to manage as the hearing loss itself. Hearing loss causes many people to withdraw from people and activities they once enjoyed, and lack of social stimulation has been strongly linked to anxiety and depression. Treating your hearing loss can help treat and prevent mental illness such as these.
Anxiety is strongly associated with both hearing loss and digestive problems. If you have anxiety stemming from your hearing loss, you may experience cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation. Treating the root of your anxiety can relieve these issues.
Any couples’ counselor will tell you that communication is key to healthy relationships. If you cannot hear well, you likely have a difficult time communicating with your loved ones. In addition, the partners of people with hearing loss often “pick up the slack” by performing tasks such as responding to the phone or doorbell, going shopping and scheduling appointments, which can lead to resentment over time. Resentment can go both ways, as a person with hearing loss may feel as though their partner doesn’t understand what they’re going through. Wearing hearing aids can improve communication and provide balance in relationships.
For more information about the effects of hearing loss or to schedule an appointment, call CENTA Medical Group today.