3 Ways Hearing Loss Impacts Your Overall HealthIt’s that time of year to put the focus back on your health. As you’re making plans to adjust your fitness, make healthier eating choices, and schedule those doctor appointments you’ve been putting off, make sure you add a hearing test to your list. Your hearing plays a significant role in your life, so it’s important to protect it. Here are a few ways that hearing loss can impact your overall health:
- Feelings of Social Isolation The ability to communicate with the world around you helps you function in your daily life, as well as leads to a sense of fulfillment. A lot of great experiences are through sounds like concerts, movies, important lectures, and even simple sounds in nature. Some of the greatest joys, however, are conversations with your loved ones. When you experience hearing loss, you may find it difficult to communicate. This may lead you to withdraw from conversations, or even avoid social settings altogether.
- Stress, Anxiety, and Depression On top of feeling isolated from loved ones, hearing loss can negatively affect your mental health. Not being able to hear things like the phone ringing, alarms, or people approaching you might make you feel uneasy. Overtime, the anticipation of feeling like you could miss something important can cause you stress. Even worrying about the cause of your hearing loss, or what life will look like with hearing loss, can cause you to feel anxiety.
- Memory Loss and Cognitive Decline Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can increase your risk of dementia. It can also lead to an earlier cognitive decline than people without untreated cognitive decline. Something you may notice sooner than dementia or cognitive decline is memory loss. You might realize you frequently have trouble recalling important details from certain conversations or meetings at work. When your brain is putting in the extra effort to understand what it’s hearing, it becomes stressed and is less likely to commit the information to memory.