As we look toward a hopeful New Year, resolutions are often on our mind. Changing our lifestyles means changing our lives, and we hold out hope that we can take steps toward a better year by modifying our habits and activities.
Health and wellness often top the list of steps we plan to take toward a better life, and the most common goals have to do with nutrition, exercise, and other daily habits that have widespread benefits. Did you know that seeking treatment for hearing loss is another one of those resolutions that can lead to widespread benefits?
Investing in hearing loss treatment in the form of hearing aids or other assistive technology is a way to watch a ripple effect in many dimensions of our lives. Let’s take a moment to think about some of the many healthy outcomes that are associated with hearing loss treatment, all the more reason to get on the ball with a hearing test right away!
Physical Health and Hearing Loss
When it comes to hearing loss and physical health outcomes, we can think of the relationships in terms of direct and indirect effects. Some of the direct relationships between hearing loss and physical health include fatigue, headaches, and stress, but these results are also linked to further health outcomes in an indirect manner.
Take stress, for example. If the process of trying to communicate with hearing loss causes additional stress, as we know it does, then stress also contributes to other quite serious health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke. With so much on the line, stress reduction is crucial to our health, and research has demonstrated that treatment for hearing loss can reduce stress and its subsequent effects.
Cognitive Health and Hearing Loss
One of the most challenging forms of research on hearing loss has to do with its correlation with cognitive decline and conditions such as dementia. Much remains to be understood about this connection between seemingly unrelated conditions, but countless studies have borne out the relationship at the level of the general population. Why might hearing loss be connected to cognitive decline?
One perspective points to the connection between spoken language and cognition. When we are able to hear others in a conversation, our mind is able to devote itself to complex thinking and other mental tasks. However, when hearing loss limits the brain’s ability to comprehend spoken language, our brains must devote undue attention to trying to solve that puzzle.
Without all the pieces of sound to assemble into language, our brain can become overloaded and struggle to perform other tasks in complex thought. As researchers continue to try to understand the relationship, evidence is beginning to show that the use of hearing aids eliminates that relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline.
Mental Health and Hearing Loss
The struggle to understand what others are saying can be frustrating enough on its own, but it can also lead to a cascade of other psychological stressors and mental conditions. When a person has trouble communicating in person, some find a tendency to shy away from those conversations altogether. In addition to the emotions of frustration, anxiety, and depression that can accompany hearing loss on its own, an additional range of emotions come with social isolation. Avoiding parties, family gatherings, and trips to the store might seem like the easiest path for a person with hearing loss, but the absence of connections to the ones we love can create a snowball effect with other forms of mental distress.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
With these many associated health conditions in mind, it is crucial not to put off seeking treatment for hearing loss. Though you might feel like you’re getting by with the hearing ability you have, the change of quality of life with the use of hearing aids can be remarkable. A restored sense of independence as well as social connections with loved ones can make for a fresh start in the New Year. Why not take the opportunity of these waning days of 2020 to make an investment in your health, wellbeing, and peace of mind in 2021 by making an appointment for a hearing test?