The Negative Effects of Ignoring Hearing Loss

Man with cardiac condition also suffering from hearing loss.

The unfortunate truth is, as you get older, your hearing begins to go. Approximately 38 million individuals suffer from hearing loss in the U . S ., but many people choose to dismiss it because they think about it as just a part of aging. Ignoring hearing loss, though, can have major negative side effects on a person’s whole well-being beyond how well they hear.

Why do so many people choose to just accept hearing loss? According to an AARP study, more than one-third of senior citizens consider hearing loss to be a minor issue that can be handled easily enough, while greater than half of the participants reported cost as a problem. But, those costs can go up incredibly when you factor in the serious adverse reactions and conditions that are triggered by neglecting hearing loss. What are the most prevalent challenges of ignoring hearing loss?


The dots will not be connected by most people from fatigue to hearing loss. Instead, they will attribute fatigue to several different ideas, like slowing down because of aging or a side-effect of medication. But in reality, if you have to work harder to hear, it can drain your physical resources. Think about taking an exam like the SAT where your brain is completely concentrated on processing the task in front of you. Once you’re finished, you likely feel exhausted. The same thing takes place when you struggle to hear: when there are missing spots in conversation, your brain needs to work hard to substitute the missing information – which, when there’s too much background noise, is even more difficult – and consumes precious energy just trying to manage the conversation. Taking care of yourself takes energy which you won’t have with this type of chronic exhaustion. To adapt, you will avoid life-essential activities such as working out or eating healthy.

Decline of Brain Function

A number of studies by Johns Hopkins University linked hearing loss to decreased cognitive functions , accelerated loss of brain tissue, and dementia. Although these links are not causation, they’re correlations, it’s theorized by researchers that, again, the more mental resources that are used trying to fill in the blanks of a conversation, the less there are to give attention to other things like comprehension and memorization. And decreasing brain function, as we get older is, directly linked to an increased draw on our cognitive resources. On top of that, it’s believed that the process of mental decline can be slowed and mental wellness can be preserved by sustained exchange of ideas, normally through conversation. Fortunately, cognitive specialist and hearing specialist can use the recognized connection between mental decline and hearing loss to collaborate to carry out research and develop treatments that are encouraging in the near future.

Mental Health Issues

The National Council on the Aging discovered, from a study of more than two thousand senior citizens, that mental health problems that have a negative social and emotional affect, are more prevalent if there is also neglected hearing loss. It makes sense that there is a connection between hearing loss and mental health problems since, in social and family situations, people who cope with hearing loss have a hard time communicating with others. This can result in feelings of separation, which can ultimately result in depression. Feelings of exclusion and isolation can escalate to anxiety and even paranoia if neglected. Hearing aids have been proven to aid in the recovery from depression, though anybody suffering from depression, anxiety, or paranoia should contact a mental health professional.

Cardiovascular Disease

If one part of your body, which is an interconnected machine, stops working properly, it might have an affect on apparently unrelated bodily functions. This is the situation with our hearts and ears. As a case in point, if blood flow from the heart to the inner ear is constrained, hearing loss could occur. Diabetes, which is also connected to heart disease, can impact the inner ear’s nerve endings and cause messages sent from the ear to the brain to become scrambled. People who have detected some amount of hearing loss and who have a history of diabetes or heart disease in their families should consult with both a hearing and cardiac specialist to ascertain whether the hearing loss is actually caused by a heart condition, since overlooking the symptoms might lead to serious, possibly fatal repercussions.

If you want to begin living a healthier life, contact us so we can help you solve any adverse effects of hearing loss that you may suffer.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.