Do you suspect that you have trouble hearing? Are you willing to admit it? Because it is an invisible disability that develops in intensity over time, often people don’t admit that they have a problem until it is difficult to communicate in the best possible hearing conditions. Many people living with hearing loss are resistant to even have their hearing assessed by an audiologist because oftentimes, they equate hearing loss with hearing aids. On average people wait 10 years after they suspect they need hearing aids to seek treatment. If people understood all the benefits that hearing aids can bring to your life and the dangers of not using them people may act sooner.
There is a huge portion of the human brain, devoted to the interpreting and processing of speech and sound. As with any other muscle, though, if you don’t use it, you lose it! Neural pathways along which sounds travels need to be exercised, and continually strengthened in order to keep working learning and growing. If you reach a point, where you can no longer hear higher frequencies, then the high-frequency pathways will diminish and atrophy. This means that it is best to intervene as soon as you suspect you may have hearing loss! The atrophy of these pathways often affects neighboring pathways, like those controlling memory. Thus, hearing loss greatly increases the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Early intervention at the first sign of hearing loss is essential to keeping your clear mind and sharp wit, even into old age.
While the connection between hearing loss and physical health may not seem apparent at first, but once examined, the consequences cannot be ignored. The ears play key part in keeping your balance and sounds help you stay connected to your surroundings. If you don’t hear well, you are putting yourself at risk of falling. In fact, studies show that you’re three times more likely to fall even if you have a mild hearing problem.
Paying attention to your hearing loss can help you identify other issues that are key to our health. Hearing loss can be a warning sign of heart disease or high blood pressure. The arteries harden or narrow when a person has a heart illness which restricts blood flow, including to the cochlea, which is the organ in the inner ear that translates sound into nerve impulses to be sent to the brain. If it’s doesn’t get enough oxygen through the blood, it doesn’t work properly; hence we don’t hear well.
Research has also linked hearing loss with brain shrinkage. Even though this happens as people age, atrophy has been shown to be bigger by one cubic centimeter per year among people with mild hearing problems. The reduction in mental capacity is mostly in the parts of the brain responsible for speech, balance and memory.
There has long been a link between hearing loss and depression. We as humans are social creatures who have a deep need to communicate with one another at home and at work. Hearing loss leads to social impairment, which leads to withdrawal, which leads to depression due to lack of normalized social interaction.
Neglecting any perceived hearing loss can lead to this sort of withdrawal often without realizing how the two events are linked. It’s important to address any social impairment due to hearing difficulties as soon as they occur. It’s much better to treat your hearing loss rather than put it off for years while your hearing and social interactions decays. Contact us at Glendora Hearing to set up a hearing test. Let yourself be happy and address your hearing loss today.
Studies show that the longer you put off treating your hearing loss, the worse your conditions can become. Visit us at Glendora Hearing to get your hearing checked today, so we can find the best hearing aids for your needs. Once you treat your hearing loss and get used to hearing aids you can get back to focusing on the things that are most valuable in your life.