Untreated hearing loss can take a toll on so many aspects of your life that go beyond just the ability to hear. It has been associated with negative physical, mental, and emotional health issues including:
- Increased risk for cognitive decline and dementia
- Higher levels of anxiety, depression and isolation
- Increased risk of balance problems and injury from falls
Research on Hearing Loss and Physical Function
A recent study published in JAMA Network Open examined the connection between hearing loss and physical function among older adults in the United States. They used data collected between 2011-2019 from 2,956 patients who were taking part in a different study examining atherosclerosis risk in various communities. Of all the participants studied:
- 33% had normal hearing
- 40% had mild hearing loss
- 23% had moderate hearing loss
- 4% had severe hearing loss
The study found that hearing loss was associated with poorer physical performance, a faster decline in physical function and reduced walking endurance, and that the more severe the hearing loss the worse certain aspects of physical performance, like walking endurance, became.
Treating Hearing Loss Improves Quality of Life
Not being able to do the things you want to do physically can be a disheartening and frustrating experience that keeps you from the things you love. Not to mention physical activity is crucial to your continued health and well-being.
Early treatment of hearing loss may help slow physical decline and help you keep your active lifestyle. Hearing aids can make it easier to engage in physical activities like:
- Taking a yoga or Tai Chi class
- Working in your garden
- Going for a walk around your neighborhood or at Mission Trails Regional Park
If you have untreated hearing loss, schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation. An audiologist will test your hearing to determine the cause and severity of your hearing loss. They will answer all your questions and work with you to find the right treatment solution for your needs.
If they determine you need hearing aids, they will help aid you in the process of choosing the right type for your lifestyle, make sure the fit is right and make any needed adjustments to give you the best hearing possible. We know that taking that first step towards treating your hearing loss can be scary, but you deserve to live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Treating your hearing loss can help you do just that.
If you have additional questions or wish to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call San Diego ENT today.