Hearing loss is inconvenient and frustrating. But did you know that it can also threaten a person’s mental and physical well being?
Let’s discuss how hearing loss can impact your senior loved one’s health.
1. Increased Depression Risk Due to Hearing Loss
Relationships are about communication. Impaired hearing may leave your beloved senior confused and embarrassed when they feel like they can’t properly engage in conversations with neighbors or family.
Also, attending family reunions, classes, games, and concerts aren’t the same after hearing issues begin. Too much background noise can make these gatherings and events too distracting. Certain low or high-pitched voices may elude your loved one’s ears completely.
Your loved one may find that those fun and educational events they once loved aren’t as desirable to attend. So, when your loved one can’t hear well, their social life suffers. This can lead to depression.
2. Heightened Dementia Risk
Recent Johns Hopkins studies have shown that mild hearing loss is shown to double dementia risk. Moderate loss may quadruple that risk while severe risk makes a dementia diagnosis five times more likely!
As your loved one withdraws from family and society; their brains aren’t being engaged or exercised as much as before. In fact, their brain can shrink.
Note: The good news is that hearing aid users have less of a dementia risk than those that don’t wear them.
3. Increased Fall Risk
The worse your senior loved one’s hearing issues are, the worse their fall risk is. At its core, hearing loss is about nerve disruptions. Disruptions occur when nerve impulses are going from the pathway in the inner ear to the brain. This can alter your loved one’s balance.
Yes, these disruptions happen due to the normal aging process. But talking to your doctor or an audiologist about gradual loss is still recommended.
However, it’s imperative that you get help for your loved one right away if their hearing changes suddenly. People can experience an “ear stroke” with symptoms like headaches, tinnitus, and dizziness. These sudden hearing problems pop up in a span of three days or less and can also greatly increase fall risk.
4. A Diabetes Link
The neuropathy from diabetes can create inner ear damage. For example, high or low blood sugar levels can cause the nerves in the inner ear to become damaged.
But according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes sufferers are twice as likely to experience loss of hearing than the general population. The association has stated that more research needs to be done to find the missing link on how hearing issues and diabetes truly impact each other.
Your loved one may find hearing issues are inconvenient. But their physical and mental health can also be impacted. Fortunately, there’s no time like the present to rectify or at least stop more loss of hearing. Schedule a hearing appointment with an audiologist.
In Palos Verdes, seniors may find independent living solutions through Peaceful Way Home Care. Call (310)-377-3776 for a free in-home consultation.