The Hidden Risks of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a medical issue typically associated with growing older. But once a patient experiences a problem with their hearing, they must seek the right medical attention. Hearing loss can cause many other issues or diseases, making treatment important for increasing one’s quality of life. Horizon Audiology, Inc., serving patients throughout central New Jersey, has extensive experience in hearing care, such as hearing protection, musician monitors, and hearing aid repairs and maintenance. Here, we discuss the disorders and issues patients with hearing loss can experience.
Falls & Accidents
Hearing loss can contribute to an increase in accidents and falls. This is because as one’s hearing ability deteriorates, it can make them less aware of their surroundings. Because patients with hearing loss cannot trust their ears to detect sounds, they may be more likely to trip over items.
In addition, hearing loss can take up much of a patient’s brain power when understanding conversations. Because of this, it can take away the energy the brain uses for other functions, such as balance. In turn, this can keep patients off-balance more than usual, heightening their chances of experiencing a detrimental fall or accident.
Hearing loss makes it difficult to engage in social situations, compelling some individuals to avoid socializing altogether. When patients with hearing loss socialize with others, they may feel embarrassed or frustrated from not being able to understand others or communicate effectively. This can cause them to withdraw from social activities they once loved, such as family events or religious activities. As a result, patients can become isolated, which increases feelings of depression.
Symptoms of depression include disruptions in concentration, sleep, appetite, fatigue, intense sadness or loneliness, and decreased feelings of self-worth. If left untreated, these symptoms can severely impact the patient’s outlook on life and the quality of their day-to-day experiences. Receiving treatment for hearing loss can allow individuals to remain social and interact with those they love most.
Differing blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage nerves and blood vessels in the ears. This condition can compound hearing loss and leave lasting damage to auditory processing. If diagnosed with diabetes, patients should frequently check their hearing ability. Visiting an audiologist regularly can help individuals avoid the symptoms of hearing loss associated with diabetes.
In addition, patients should always make sure to measure blood pressure levels to avoid unusual increases or decreases. This can protect the nerves inside the ears, which contributes to positive auditory health.
Good blood circulation is essential to maintaining hearing ability. Without it, nerves in the ear cannot receive adequate blood flow and oxygen. Because heart disease restricts blood flow to the heart and other body structures, it can also impact the auditory nerves. Heart disease sometimes triggers a decrease in blood flow to the ear, which can lead to permanent hearing issues. It can also decrease the amount of oxygen needed to allow auditory nerves to function, which can contribute to lasting damage.
Strokes caused by heart disease may also result in hearing loss, and hearing loss might indicate that heart disease is present in a patient.
Recent research shows that hearing loss can increase the chances that a patient develops dementia. This is because the brain must work harder to process information. As the brain uses more power to assist with auditory processing, it decreases its ability to complete necessary brain functions, such as problem-solving and thinking. This situation can affect changes to the brain, leading to the onset of dementia.
Hearing loss can also encourage patients to withdraw from social activities, which decreases the amount of exercise and stimulation the brain receives. Feelings of isolation and depression may contribute to the development of dementia. A hearing aid might help in preventing dementia associated with hearing loss, as it enhances auditory processing.
Find Treatment for Hearing Loss at Horizon Audiology, Inc.
Serving the central New Jersey community, Horizon Audiology, Inc. is here for those experiencing difficulty with their hearing. The reputable team understands how difficult hearing loss can be and assists patients by delivering compassionate audiology care at our locations in East Windsor and Pennington, NJ. To learn more about hearing loss and its potential risks, contact Horizon Audiology, Inc. or fill out an appointment request.