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hearing loss impact on health

Hearing Loss Impact on Health

Published 22-03-2019
Last Updated 05-06-2019

The social impact of hearing loss is obvious - can't hear properly, talking loudly, listening to higher than usual volumes etc. But what are the hidden impacts - such as health risks? They're not obvious, and they can happen gradually.
Hearing loss can have a range of consequences that depends on the individual and their unique type of hearing loss.

The most common experience is a reduced ability to understand other people, particularly in noisy situations. This can impact how you interact with family and friends, making it difficult to learn at school and or perform your duties in the workplace competently.

We all know the impacts on one’s social life, but how can hearing loss affect one’s health?

Here are some health risks that are associated with hearing loss:

Dementia

People with hearing loss have dysfunction in the sound processing areas of the brain. This will affect the person’s memory ability, and eventually this leads to dementia. A recent research at John Hopkins showed that hearing loss may contribute to a faster rate of atrophy in the brain.

Recent studies released in January have shown that people who started wearing hearing aids when they only had a mild hearing impairment, significantly slowed the onset of dementia.

Falling over

A survey shows that a mild hearing loss is associated with nearly three times the likelihood of falling. Maintaining your hearing health allows us to continue to hear the sound signals in our environment allowing us to be more in control of our balance.

Depression

Hearing loss affects communication and interaction with others. Unable to understand other people and answering questions incorrectly will lead to the person disengaging from conversations, isolating from groups, social withdrawal and eventually causing depression.

Headaches, fatigue and exhaustion

Hearing loss makes it harder to talk to people. It will take a lot of effort and energy to interact with others, especially in a group setting. People with hearing loss often find themselves extremely tired after a social outing.


Other potential health impacts include:

a.    Increased blood pressure
b.    Insomnia
c.    Vertigo
d.    Tense muscles
e.    Stress
f.    Sexual problems


1 in 6 Australians have hearing loss. If you think you might have a hearing loss, or if someone you care about have hearing loss, don’t leave it untreated. Seek professional help through hearing specialists and get hearing health checks regularly.



Sources:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Hearnet Online
Garden State Hearing