5 Reasons You Should Treat Your Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s often associated with aging, but it can also be caused by exposure to loud noise, certain medications, and other factors. While hearing loss can be frustrating and inconvenient, it can also have serious health consequences if left untreated.
Here are some of the potential health impacts of untreated hearing loss:
- Cognitive decline: Studies have shown that there is a strong link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Individuals with untreated hearing loss are more likely to experience memory loss, decreased mental sharpness, and an increased risk of dementia.
- Social isolation: People with untreated hearing loss often have difficulty communicating with others, which can lead to social isolation and loneliness. This can have a negative impact on mental health and overall well-being.
- Depression and anxiety: Untreated hearing loss can also lead to depression and anxiety. People with hearing loss may feel frustrated, angry, or embarrassed about their condition, which can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.
- Increased risk of falls: Hearing loss can affect balance and spatial awareness, increasing the risk of falls and other accidents.
- Reduced quality of life: Overall, untreated hearing loss can have a significant impact on quality of life. It can make it difficult to enjoy hobbies and activities, communicate with loved ones, and participate in social events.
Treating hearing loss is extremely important, and even the Government of Canada has listed hearing loss as the largest risk factor in midlife as a risk factor for dementia. It is recommended to treat hearing loss with hearing aids, as well as prevent hearing loss by wearing custom hearing protection when you are in loud environments.
Why is hearing loss associated with increased dementia risk? The job of your ears is to pick up sounds in your environment, and send them to the brain for processing. When you have hearing loss, there is reduced input to the brain from the auditory system, and therefore less stimulation to the brain. As the old adage goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it. This is true for the brain as well. When there is a lack of stimulation to the brain, those regions of the brain shrink over time and get smaller. Even a mild hearing loss can double your risk of dementia 7,8,9 .
The good news is that many of these health impacts can be mitigated with early intervention and treatment. Hearing aids and other assistive devices can help individuals with hearing loss communicate more effectively and reduce their risk of cognitive decline, depression, and other negative health outcomes.
If you suspect you have hearing loss, it’s important to seek the help of an audiologist or hearing healthcare professional. They can perform a hearing evaluation and recommend appropriate treatment options based on your specific needs. Don’t wait until your hearing loss has a negative impact on your health and well-being – take action today to protect your hearing and improve your overall quality of life.
Are you in the Forest Hill or Toronto area and have questions about your hearing? Stop by Toronto Hearing Health Clinic, we would love to help! Understanding how you are hearing is important to your overall health, so make sure to see your Toronto audiologist if you have concerns. We hope to meet you soon!