Understand the effects of hearing loss on your physical and mental health.
What is Hearing Loss?
A key indicator of hearing loss is the inability to hear certain sounds or tones. Hearing loss can happen to anyone of any age and can range from mild to severe. Even though your hearing loss may be mild, it can affect your ability to properly communicate. If your family is noticing you are having trouble hearing, then you should make an appointment to have your hearing checked. Hearing loss can make sounds seem muffled, or can prevent you from hearing certain tones and frequencies completely. Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Exposure to loud noise
- Head/ear trauma
- Earwax blockage
- Ear infection
- Deterioration of the hair cells in the inner ear
Regardless of how your hearing loss happened, it’s important to have it evaluated by an audiologist. Hearing loss can also be a result of another underlying health condition and can lead to further complications.
Hearing and Your Health
Hearing loss is not always the result of aging, sometimes it can be caused by another serious underlying health condition. Studies have proven that hearing loss can be connected to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Each of these conditions affects the blood vessels in your body, often causing them to swell. Because the blood vessels in your ear are so sensitive, the swelling of them due to one of these conditions can cause hearing loss.
It’s important to schedule regular hearing check-ups and appointments with your physician to catch any of these conditions early. Early intervention can prevent any further complications and will benefit your overall well-being.
Hearing and Your Brain
Hearing is directly connected to the brain. In fact, we don’t hear with our ears, we hear when sound travels through the ear and up to the auditory cortex of the brain. When sound reaches the brain it is transformed into information and stored into our memories. Healthy hearing is a crucial part of having an active and healthy brain. When you can’t hear well due to hearing loss, your brain doesn’t receive the proper stimulation it needs. Hearing loss makes it difficult for the brain to hear certain sound signals depending on the tone and frequency. As a result, your brain will work harder to pick up the sounds that it is missing, this can lead to mental strain, fatigue, and even memory problems.
Studies have proven there is a connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Hearing loss makes it harder to hear, which can often result in feelings of embarrassment. Those who have hearing loss may socially isolate themselves from other people because they are ashamed of their hearing loss and they don’t want anyone to notice. Without conversations and social interactions, you can develop feelings of loneliness, depression, and experience a decline in your cognitive abilities. Your brain needs your hearing to remain active and healthy, and without it you can even develop dementia.
The most effective way to prevent dementia and cognitive decline is to manage your hearing loss with hearing aids. Hearing aids provide your brain with the proper stimulation it needs to process sounds and remain healthy. Don’t let hearing loss keep you from the ones you love. Contact us today to learn more about how hearing loss may be affecting your brain.
Children and Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can happen to any one of any age – even children. In fact, 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 child in the U.S. was born with hearing loss. Children and young adults can lose their hearing later in childhood as well because of loud noise exposure, head/ear trauma, or genetics. It is important to treat any hearing loss in your child immediately to prevent any developmental delays with speech comprehension and learning. Hearing is a vital part in how children learn to talk and understand information. When a child has undetected hearing loss, their learning skills can be delayed because they are missing out on sounds. This can lead to developmental delays with their speaking, reading, school success, and social skills.
If you suspect your child is having a hard time hearing, bring them in for an appointment. Our audiologist has years of experience in pediatric audiology. We carry hearing aids specifically designed for children and we work with cochlear implants as well. Together, we will help your child with their hearing so they can be successful in the classroom and at home.