Hearing loss not only affects the person who has it, but it also affects anyone with whom they interact, how they walk, increases risks of falling, and raises the risks of dementia.
In a study that was conducted by a research team from Johns Hopkins, they found that even mild hearing loss doubled the risk for dementia. Those with moderate hearing loss are three times more likely to develop dementia and those with severe hearing loss are five times at risk of developing dementia.
Hearing and Overall Health
Results of brain scans from participants in the study showed that hearing loss might contribute to higher rates of brain atrophy. Individuals with hearing loss tend to become more isolated, which contributes to anxiety, depression, and dementia. When you’re not hearing at your best, avoiding others, or less participation in conversations happens more often. All of these elements can lead to dementia.
As you navigate through different environments, your ears harness subtle cues that support your balance. The inability to hear these vital signals can lead to imbalance and falls. Your brain also struggles just to process sound. This can lead to listening fatigue. This subliminal multitasking may interfere with how your brain controls your ability to safely walk.
Causes and Symptoms
Hearing loss can be caused by:
Experiencing difficulty with hearing soft or high-pitched sounds is the first sign of damaged stereocilia - the fragile hair cells that transmit sound waves to electrical signals in the ear.
Soft sounds are conversations that take place over the phone or background noises in busy settings like a restaurant. Examples of high-pitched sounds include children’s voices and some women’s voices. Tinnitus is also a sign of possible hearing loss.
4 Myths about Hearing Aids that Stop Some from Using Them
There are no drawbacks to wearing hearing aids if you experience difficulty with hearing. They are beneficial to most individuals who use them. Being able to engage with friends, family members, colleagues, and other acquaintances can make a huge difference in a person’s life. It just takes time and patience.
People of all ages can have some range of hearing loss, but few people use hearing aids. Different factors such as affordability, flat-out denial of having hearing problems, the stigma that some people still associate with wearing hearing aids, or any other personal reason, may prevent people who need hearing aids from getting them.
Myth #1: My hearing loss isn’t too bad
The average hearing aid user waits 10 years before seeking guidance for their hearing problems. It is during this timespan when communication with others becomes challenging, and there are higher risks of isolation which impacts overall health. Advocate for your health.
Myth #2: Hearing aids are for old people
People of all ages, from newborns to senior citizens, have hearing loss and some of them also wear hearing aids. Some people want to hide their hearing loss because they think it’s proof that they are aging. Having a hearing loss might seem like a sign of weakness or incompetence, but it’s actually all about figuring out the best way to communicate that works for you. That could include wearing hearing aids, using an assistive listening device, using a voice-to-text/caption app, using sign language, or any other method of communication. Staying connected to others helps your brain stay healthy and less isolated.
Myth #3: Hearing aids don’t look cool
First of all, these days, just about everyone has something in their ear. It could be earbuds, air pods, or hearing aids. No one thinks twice if they see something in your ear, or even notice that there’s something in your ear.
Hearing aids are available in many sizes and styles from completely-in-canal (CIC) to behind-the-ear (BTE). Proper fittings by a hearing instrument specialist can ensure no whistling sounds and a comfortable experience while wearing them. Whether you're looking for hearing aids that are discreet or a pair that is visible and colorful, we’ve got you covered at Pure Sound Hearing.
Myth #4: Hearing aids are complicated to use
With proper guidance and a trial period, adjusting to hearing aids can be a smooth transition. Trying out hearing aids is important before making a final choice. Our hearing instrument specialists will help you through this stage of adjustment. Hearing aid demonstrations, training, and guidance with the right pair of hearing aids are all necessary for an optimal listening experience.
If you need a hearing test and consultation for hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.