The Imporatance of a Hearing Test
The Importance of a Hearing Test Our hearing is one of 5 precious senses. Interictally hard wired to the Left and Right Temporal lobes of our Brains.
It protects us, as early man we would hear predators long before we saw them and by then it would be too late. It primes and triggers our Fight or Flight mechanism. It will wake us up if it hears a smoke alarm if we are tired it may tell us to ignore our alarm clock and sleep in. Our hearing enables us to communicate with others, debate and more importantly socialise which helps us regulate our mood. We are after all sociable animals and not being able to interact with our peers is very detrimental to our well being.
All this information is sent via nerve impulses through the Neural pathways of the brain. When these nerve impulses cease to fire and the Neural Pathways go unused deterioration and decay can begin.
Although not limited to, some of the risks of not treating hearing loss include.
(There is strong evidence to show that)
Mild hearing loss doubles the risk of developing Dementia
Moderate hearing loss leads to three times the risk
Severe hearing loss increases the risk five times.
Unaddressed hearing loss in mid-life was predicted to be the highest potentially modifiable risk factor for developing dementia. It is potentially responsible for 9% of cases. This is hugely important. Could simply wearing a hearing aid prevent this?
Another study also found a strong link between hearing loss and dementia. According to one study, people with mild hearing loss are two times as likely to develop dementia, and this increases to three times for those with moderate hearing loss (Lin et al 2011).
Source, https://www.scie.org.uk/dementia/living-with-dementia/sensory-loss/hearing-loss.asp#:~:text=There%20is%20a%20strong%20link,(Lin%20et%20al%202011). Hearing loss can affect more than just your ability to hear sounds. The mental and emotional effects of hearing loss include anger, denial, depression, anxiety, isolation, social withdrawal, and fatigue.
Anger and denial. Losing your hearing can be a drastic change to your everyday life that can be a difficult adjustment to get used to, causing feelings of anger. It is also common for people with hearing loss to be in denial about the severity of their hearing loss because it is a change that is hard to accept.
Depression and anxiety. Losing your hearing can make you feel like you lost part of your identity and can cause feelings of sadness and depression. Symptoms of depression can include crying, slowed responses, weight changes, and disrupted sleeping patterns. Hearing loss can also be anxiety-provoking. “When someone with hearing loss is faced with having a conversation with someone else...it can create a lot of stress and worry that they are going to miss parts of the conversation and let on that they are struggling to hear,” Rhee Rosenman-Nesson, AuD, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Isolation and social withdrawal. It is common to avoid situations where it is difficult to hear in order to avoid feelings of stress, anxiety, and embarrassment about your hearing loss. Isolation and social withdrawal can also lead to feelings of depression or make them worse. “The frustration of not being able to hear in these situations may lead people to avoid going out in public or meeting up with family and friends, which can sadly cause them to become socially isolated,” Paul K Farrell, AuD, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Fatigue. Losing your hearing can make you feel tired or fatigued because straining to hear properly demands more of your energy. “People with hearing loss often feel physically exhausted at the end of the day from the strain of trying to hear and make sense of what people are saying because of all the additional work that is involved in hearing,” Rosenman-Nesson says.
Hearing loss can be managed and treated.
11.4% of adults with self-reported hearing impairment have moderate to severe depression, significantly higher than the 5.9% prevalence for those with typical hearing.
In addition to depression, hearing loss has been linked to schizophrenia. Several studies support the social defeat hypothesis, which proposes that social exclusion and loneliness can predispose people to schizophrenia by increasing sensitization of the dopamine system.
In older adults, hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline and dementia, according to a February 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine and several other studies conducted at Johns Hopkins University. The scientists concluded that reduced social engagement and a cognitive load focused on coping with hearing loss rather than higher level thinking can lead to poorer cognitive functioning and faster mental decline. Hearing aids could possibly be a simple fix to increase healthy brain function in the older adult population and reduce the risk of dementia.
Don’t ignore your hearing get a FREE Hearing Test now with a Professional Audiologist at Wickersley Audiology, In Rotherham (South Yorkshire)