Losing your hearing is a difficult and frustrating experience for anyone to go through. Time progresses and sounds become harder to pick up, voices become harder to hear, and many people face inevitable stress trying to understand the next steps and what life to come looks like.
But what many people donít consider beyond the surface is the effect that untreated hearing loss will have on their mental health. At Little Rock Audiology, we are advocates for taking care of hearing along with recognizing and acknowledging when symptoms are occurring in order to take care of your mental health. Conditions and feelings that stem from hearing loss include the following.
Depression is a common result of hearing loss. So much so that the National Council of Aging has found that those with hearing loss are 50 percent more likely to experience depression. A study found seniors having untreated hearing loss often reporting feelings of being depressed for periods of two weeks or longer. For the longest time it was believed that adults approaching their later years of life that hearing loss is just a harmless reality, but this clearly debunks this myth. Women with hearing loss have also been known to experience higher rates of depression than their male counterparts.
Recent hearing loss studies have connected cognitive decline with untreated hearing loss. We donít know if cognitive decline or even dementia are caused by hearing loss, but we do know there is a link established that needs to be looked further into. Research leads to the idea that a higher risk of dementia and cognitive decline among those with untreated hearing loss is caused by a number of factors. One University of Colorado found that a phenomenon called "Brain Reorganization" is common with hearing loss, where as the part of your brain devoted to hearing shrinks as the ability is lost and other parts of the brain step in to fill the vacated roles.
Loneliness and isolation is a serious risk for seniors with hearing loss. Many become frustrated in their struggle to hear and understand, more so in noisy environments than others. Theyíll avoid getting out and living life the way they once enjoyed. This very much goes hand-in-hand with the idea of the risk of cognitive decline and dementia from untreated hearing loss, as your brain is like a muscle and the loss of one sense decreases the stimulation it once had.
At Little Rock Audiology, we are passionate about helping people prevent hearing loss and also getting people back to a sense of normalcy with hearing aid and counseling solutions. Call today to learn more!