Hearing Loss

Discover the connection between hearing loss and overall health.

Hearing Loss Overview

Hearing loss is an essential part of overall health and well-being. For those who are hearing impaired, hearing loss can have negative impacts on quality of life, communication, and cognitive abilities, if left untreated.

The most common causes of hearing loss are age, loud noise exposure, and underlying health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure). Because hearing loss often goes undetected, it’s important to have regular hearing screenings to ensure you do not go undiagnosed.

Auditory Deprivation

Auditory deprivation describes a significant reduction in listening capacity and reduced hearing ability in general (sensorineural hearing loss). When left untreated, hearing loss makes it difficult to understand speech, leading to complications hearing conversation in noisy environments.

The problem with untreated hearing loss or auditory deprivation is the idea that the brain loses its ability to process certain sounds. This is known as brain shrinkage. Shrinkage of the brain can lead to cognitive difficulties including mental fatigue, forgetfulness, and even dementia. A key component of having healthy brain function is to take care of your hearing.

Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can often be difficult to recognize right away. Oftentimes, our hearing will slowly decline over the course of a few years. This can make it hard to know there is a problem until it is too late. For this reason, it’s important to receive regular hearing check-ups and to recognize the signs of hearing loss.

Some indicators of hearing loss include:

Mature woman treating her hearing loss with hearing aids laughing with friends
Mature woman with a hearing impairment uses a hearing aid to communicate with her female friend outdoor. Hearing solutions

How Does Hearing Loss Lead to Dementia?

Our hearing and brain health are deeply connected. The brain relies on hearing to make sense of the world around us. When we hear, sound signals are sent up to the auditory nerve in the brain where they are transmitted into information and stored as memory. When left untreated, hearing loss makes it difficult for the brain to receive these sound signals. This can lead to atrophy and overtime you may begin to forget certain words.

To keep your cognitive abilities sharp and your brain healthy, it’s important to manage hearing loss at the first signs. Hearing aids are a great management tool as they don’t only provide you with the proper amplification to hear the sounds around you, but they also provide clarity to conversations.

If you are struggling with hearing loss or another hearing disorder such as tinnitus, contact us to schedule an appointment. We can help you enjoy an improved quality of life through better hearing.

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