Hearing loss for many people happens over time. Surprisingly, a majority of people wait years before acknowledging they have trouble hearing. According to the Hearing Health Foundation, hearing loss is the second most prevalent health issue globally which means there are more people with hearing loss than those that live with Parkinson’s, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and diabetes combined. What people fail to realize is that hearing loss is not a stand-alone disability – it is linked to many other areas of wellness in addition to everyday activities.
Impact of Hearing Loss
Approximately 48 million Americans are reported to have hearing loss. Of these people, 2/3 of them are over the age of 70. When hearing loss happens to an adult, other cognitive skills and competencies are not as greatly affected as they would be in a child who is still developing in areas related to language, reading and education. Untreated hearing loss can cause anger, depression, loneliness, social withdrawal and poor health. However, there are a variety of treatment options that can help improve hearing, in turn, leading to a person’s improved emotional and mental state.
Related Health Conditions
As mentioned earlier, hearing loss is very common and caused by noise, age, disease or is hereditary. Recent research has linked hearing loss to a number of wellness areas including:
• Diabetes – If a person is diabetic, he or she is more than twice as likely to have hearing loss. 26 million people in the US have diabetes; 40% of those suffer some degree of hearing loss.
• Ototoxic Medications – More than 200 medications (prescribed and over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil, Aleve and Motrin) are known to be ototoxic and can cause or contribute to hearing loss.
• Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea has been associated with blood flow problems. According to researchers, a potential explanation for the relationship between sleep apnea and hearing loss could be problems with blood flow to the cochlea in the inner ear.
• Obesity – Your ears require a healthy flow of both blood and oxygen. Vascular issues as a result of obesity can directly impact your ability to hear.
• Hypertension – Blood vessels get damaged when your blood pressure is high. Your entire body is affected, including your ears.
• Thyroid Disease – Research is still ongoing, however, it is known that both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are linked to hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Affects Your Health and Life
Hearing loss is a treatable condition that can impact your life, relationships and career. If you think you have a hearing problem, don’t ignore it – seek professional advice. Audicles Hearing Services has been serving the San Antonio community since 1944. Our experienced audiologists can help connect you to the world. Make the call for better hearing today!