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The Hidden Risks of Hearing Loss

woman with hearing loss

Hearing loss is one of the most common health problems in America, affecting more than 50 million people to some degree. While we all appreciate the impact that it can have on our ability to communicate with loved ones, it's very easy to dismiss the issue as being unimportant. Any hearing instrument specialist will confirm that the problems require your full attention, not least because the impacts can spread to other aspects of your existence.

Here are five commonly overlooked risks that confirm the need to get your hearing tested as soon as possible.

Safety concerns

Not being able to hear people speak clearly is frustrated, but conversations aren't the only thing you'll miss. Hearing loss may mean that you fail to notice acoustic identifiers of pending danger.

For individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, this may mean failing to hear someone shout "WATCH OUT." Those with severe hearing loss, however, may also fail to notice fire alarms, emergency vehicle sirens, and more.

Getting fitted with modern hearing aids can combat the issues by improving your hearing capabilities, while some devices can also be connected via Bluetooth to various alarms around the home. Many of the dangers you face can be a thing of the past.

Depression and social anxiety

When you can't hear people properly, it impacts your ability to interact with them in a very severe way. The embarrassment of asking people to repeat themselves can lead to social anxiety in which you avoid social situations.

Furthermore, you are likely to find that you become more reserved from interactions with friends, family, and colleagues. The sense of social isolation and the frustrations that come with it can quickly lead to depression and other mental conditions.

Communication is truly a central feature of human life. Without it, your mental health will suffer badly due to loneliness and sense of being unable to seek help. Hearing aids aren't the solution to depression by any means, but they can reduce the threat.

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Scientific studies have shown a direct correlation between hearing loss and dementia. Given that the common symptoms include confusion in communication and failure to process what has been heard, it should come as no surprise.

While dementia often won't until later life, the changing brain patterns begin at a much earlier age. This can occur at a faster rate when you suffer from hearing loss due to the signs that are closely related to Alzheimer's and similar issues.

Treating hearing loss with hearing aids can prevent the onset of dementia while the hearing instrument specialist can introduce you to other issues such as sound therapy and related treatments that can support your progress.

Intellectual decline

It is shown that cognitive decline rates are one-third faster in hearing loss sufferers than those with healthy hearing. This is yet another reason for individuals with hearing loss to seek a quick diagnosis and hearing aid fitting appointment.

The cognitive decline can result in significant changes more than three years earlier than in non-sufferers. Meanwhile, a lack of aural and verbal learning can severely dent your ability to keep the mind working in a healthy state.

Intellectual and cognitive decline will impact lives on a physical and mental level, resulting in reduced capabilities in a host of daily activities. This can be closely linked to depression and loneliness too. Speaking to the HIS right away is vital.

Exhaustion

When you can't hear things naturally, you will regularly lean in and strain to hear what is being said. In addition to the frustration that this can bring, it will inevitably result in physical and mental exhaustion, not least because it is repeated every single day.

Fatigue levels are regularly heightened for people with hearing loss. Furthermore, the fact that the brain tries to fill in the blanks can lead to symptoms of tinnitus, particularly at night time. This can make it very difficult or individuals to sleep, which worsens the tiredness.

Over exhaustion leads to a host of physical and mental health problems while also reducing the individual's quality of life in a big way. The pressures can also take a toll on loved ones, which is another reason to get the issues treated ASAP.

Listen to your body

If you believe that you may have hearing loss to any degree, it's imperative that you contact your local hearing instrument specialist today. The Hearing Aid Specialists of the Carolinas can be reached on the following numbers. Burlington: 336-226-4202, Asheville: 828-298-9174, Kernersville: 336-993-6887, Hendersonville: 828-696-4862 and Winston-Salem: 336-377-3715.