The most obvious consequence of untreated hearing loss is an inability to hear. But hearing loss goes beyond that. There are a number of lesser-known side effects that can have a grave impact on your quality of life.
Hearing loss has a direct impact on your brain. When you lose your hearing, your brain is missing a key piece of information it has come to rely on as part of your primary senses. Over a period of time, this can begin to impact the cognitive function of your brain.
A number of studies have found a link between untreated hearing loss and an increased risk of dementia. Dr. Frank Lin, an otologist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has conducted extensive research on the connection.
A 2013 study measured the cognitive abilities of 2,000 adults with a median age of 77 over six years. Those who started the study with significant hearing loss were more likely than those with normal hearing to see a decline in their cognitive abilities.
A 2011 study measured the cognitive health of volunteers for a period of 12 to 18 years. The researchers found that those with hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing.
Issues with Mental Health
Hearing loss is an isolating condition. The harder it is for people to understand and communicate with others, the easier it is stop attending social functions and spend more time alone. This can lead to an increased risk of anxiety and depression.
While hearing loss may seem like a personal problem, it can affect those closest to you. Hearing loss can impact your ability to communicate, which can take a toll on your relationships.
Treating Unwanted Side Effects
The best way to prevent these unwanted side effects is to treat your hearing loss. And the most popular form of treatment is the use of hearing aids.
The experts at Central Plains ENT will be there for your every step of the way, from determining your type and degree of hearing loss to picking out the right hearing aid to meet your individual needs. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.