Surprising Side Effects of Hearing Loss

You may be surprised to learn that hearing loss affects more than just your ears. When you let your hearing loss go untreated, you’re putting your mental, emotional, social and even physical health at risk. Below are some of the side effects of hearing loss you may not know about.

Strained Relationshipsman putting hand up to ear

Any couples’ counselor will tell you that strong communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. When you have untreated hearing loss, your partner takes on the burden of having to repeat themselves frequently, listen to the TV at a volume that is uncomfortably loud and take on social responsibilities like answering the phone and scheduling appointments. In addition, the partner with hearing loss may feel resentful or like their struggle isn’t being taken seriously or understood. Over time, all these factors can lead to resentment and strained relationships.

Mental Health Problems

Hearing loss is a profoundly isolating experience. When you cannot hear or communicate well, you may socially withdraw and stop participating in activities you once enjoyed, like dining out, hosting dinner parties and attending religious services. Over time, this can lead to depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

Cognitive Decline

Social isolation caused by hearing loss can also lead to cognitive decline. In addition, when your brain is receiving less auditory input than it should, it loses the ability to process and understand even the sounds you still can hear, making treatment much more difficult if you’ve gone a long time without hearing well. In other words, just like your muscles, your brain loses strength when it’s not being exercised. One study by Johns Hopkins found that people with mild hearing loss are at twice the risk of developing dementia than those with normal hearing.

GI Issues

Anxiety and stomach problems go hand in hand, and it’s no different for anxiety caused by hearing loss. Many people with hearing loss report symptoms of IBS such as cramps, pain, diarrhea and constipation.

For more information about the side effects of hearing loss or to schedule a hearing test with an expert audiologist, contact Sharp Hearing today.

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