You May be Shocked by These 4 Side Effects of Hearing Loss

Man suffering from hearing loss considering the side effects of losing his hearing.

Visualize hearing loss and many people imagine an older person with an old-fashioned hearing aid saying, “What’s that sonny”? Hearing loss has an effect on more than just your ability to hear and has risen sharply amongst every age group. Alarming consequences result from not having it taken care of. Based only on these four, it’s worth having your hearing examined.

1. Cognitive Decline

Although you might not have previously known it, hearing loss can influence your overall health. The most significant is the impact hearing loss has on your cognitive functions and brain health. Some conditions frequently connected to aging are in fact caused by hearing loss.

The brain’s natural ability to adjust to sensory changes backfires when it comes to hearing. Sound is processed through the inner ear in a way the brain can understand if hearing is normal. The difference between the music coming from your car radio and the music the ice cream truck plays as it heads down the street is processed by this mechanism.

Every microsecond, the brain encounters sound even if you don’t notice it. If you are resting in a quiet room, there is still ambient noise around you, like the hiss of air coming through the AC vent. Your brain interprets this as a sound you don’t need to know about, so you don’t notice it.

This stimulus is something the brain comes to expect. The brain doesn’t get the same quality or quantity of sound when there is hearing loss. Thinking the missing sound should still be there, it strains to find it. Your chance of dementia is increased because the absence of stimuli causes cognitive decline as a result of increased stress on the brain. Seniors have a forty percent higher rate of memory loss and cognitive decline if they have hearing loss, according to studies. Even more persuasive, people with hearing loss that get treatment like hearings aids have been shown to enhance cognitive ability.

2. Stomach Trouble

That’s not as far-fetched as it seems. Hearing loss leads to changes which are connected to:

  • Muscle tension
  • Anxiety
  • Upset stomach

The ongoing strain can cause intestinal issues like:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

As the discomfort increases, you might find yourself with a more serious intestinal condition like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

3. Mental Health Concerns

The most noticeable side effect is probably the affect hearing loss has on your mental health. A 2014 study found that a decline in hearing correlates to an increase in depression in adults below the age of 70.

The depression is likely accounted for by the fact that people with hearing loss have a tough time communicating with others, according to JAMA Otolaryngology Neck Surgery. The research shows that depression is more pronounced in women between the ages of 18 to 69.

Over the years, the untreated hearing loss has been connected to many mental health conditions such as:

  • Irritability
  • Lack of focus
  • Negativism
  • Anger
  • Social withdrawal

People stop trying if they can’t communicate successfully and that causes depression and psychological anxiety.

4. Troubled Relationships

The adverse reactions of hearing loss invade more than your physical and mental health. People with poor hearing statistically make less money. A 2007 study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute found 20,000 dollars per year less is made by individuals with hearing loss in comparison to their hearing colleagues.

Hearing loss creates problems in personal relationships, too. A 2007 survey found 35 percent of the respondents with hearing loss had trouble maintaining relationships. The survey showed:

  • Forty-three percent of men indicated that they had trouble with relationships due to their hearing loss
  • Thirty-seven percent of women questioned reported getting annoyed when someone with hearing loss wasn’t listening to them
  • Thirty-five percent of men Had to be pressured into getting treatment by their partner or spouse before they would agree to it.
  • Most women indicated that hearing loss was a significant concern when communicating with friends and family members.

Your self-esteem and the state of your health are impacted by hearing loss. It also has an effect on your relationships. When you get hearing aids many of these side effects disappear and that’s good news. Make an appointment with a hearing care specialist to find out what option works best for you.

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