Ignoring Hearing Loss Has Damaging Side Effects

Man with cardiac condition also suffering from hearing loss.

The unfortunate truth is, as you age, your hearing begins to go. Roughly 38 million individuals cope with hearing loss in the U . S ., but many people choose to dismiss it because they think about it as just a part of getting older. Neglecting hearing loss, though, can have serious adverse side effects on a person’s general well-being beyond how well they hear.

Why do many people choose to simply deal with hearing loss? According to an AARP study, hearing loss is, according to a third of senior citizens, a problem that is minimal and can be dealt with easily, while price was a concern for more than half of people who took part in the study. However, those costs can go up incredibly when you factor in the significant side effects and ailments that are triggered by ignoring hearing loss. What are the most prevalent complications of neglecting hearing loss?


The dots will not be connected by most people from fatigue to hearing loss. Instead, they will attribute fatigue to countless different factors, such as slowing down because of aging or a side-effect of medication. But actually, if you need to work harder to hear, it can deplete your physical resources. Remember how tired you were at times in your life when your brain had to be completely focused on a task for long time periods. Once you’re done, you probably feel drained. When you are struggling to hear, it’s an equivalent situation: when there are missing spots in conversation, your brain has to work extra hard to fill in the missing information – which is often made even harder when there’s lots of background noise – and simply trying to process information uses valuable energy. Looking after yourself takes energy that you won’t have with this type of chronic exhaustion. To adapt, you will skip life-essential activities such as working out or eating healthy.

Cognitive Decline

A number of studies by Johns Hopkins University connected hearing loss to decreased cognitive functions , increased loss of brain tissue, and dementia. While these connections are correlations, not causations, researchers think that, again, the more frequently you need to fill in the conversational blanks, which consumes mental resources, the less there are to give attention to other things including memorization and comprehension. And as people age, the additional draw on mental resources can speed up the decline of other brain functions and can lead to loss of gray matter. Moreover, it’s believed that the process of cognitive decline can be slowed and mental wellness can be maintained by a continued exchange of ideas, normally through conversation. The fact that a connection was discovered between hearing loss and a decline in cognitive functions is promising for future research since hearing and cognitive specialists can collaborate to pinpoint the factors and create treatment options for these conditions.

Mental Health Problems

The National Council on the Aging conducted a study of 2,300 seniors who suffered some form of hearing loss and found that individuals who left their condition untreated were more likely to also be dealing with mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and paranoia, which negatively affected their emotional and social well-being. It is obvious that there is a link between hearing loss and mental health problems since, in family and social situations, individuals who cope with hearing loss have a difficult time communicating with others. Eventually, feelings of separation could develop into depression. Feelings of exclusion and separation can worsen to anxiety and even paranoia if neglected. Hearing aids have been shown to aid in the recovery from depression, though anybody suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should consult with a mental health professional.

Heart Disease

If one portion of your body, which is a coordinated machine, stops working properly, it could have an impact on apparently unrelated bodily functions. This is the situation with our hearts and ears. As a case in point, if blood flow from the heart to the inner ear is restricted, hearing loss could be the result. Another affliction associated with heart disease is diabetes which also impacts the nerve endings of the inner ear and sometimes causes the brain to receive scrambled information. If heart disease is ignored serious or even possibly fatal consequences can happen. So if you have noticed some hearing loss and you have a history of diabetes or heart disease in your family you should contact both a hearing and a cardiac specialist so that you can determine if your hearing loss is linked to a heart condition.

If you deal with hearing loss or are experiencing any of the negative repercussions listed above, please contact us for a consultation so we can help you have a healthier life.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.