The biggest and most common symptom of hearing loss is an inability to hear. But there are a number of additional side effects that may surprise you.
Mental Health Problems
Hearing loss can lead to isolation, as many find it easier to simply stay home instead of trying to communicate in large groups. With social isolation comes an increased risk of anxiety and depression.
Mood disorders and seasonal affective disorder have also been linked to hearing loss.
Hearing loss is often thought of as a solidary condition, but it can also affect those around you. Research shows that those with hearing loss have a harder time maintaining good relationships, which can be intensified by challenges in communication.
Decrease in Cognitive Function
When you experience hearing loss, your brain is missing out on vital pieces of information. Over time, this lack of stimulation can directly affect the cognitive function of your brain.
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of developing dementia, a condition characterized by a decline in memory, language and thinking skills.
Many living with untreated hearing loss experience an increase in extended periods of stress. Long-term stress has been found to cause stomach pain such as cramps, diarrhea and constipation. One study even suggests that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be caused by hearing loss.
Treat Your Hearing Loss Symptoms
You do not have to live with these uncomfortable symptoms. The first step to seeking treatment for your hearing loss is to contact your audiologist at PDX ENT. Your audiologist will review your medical history and complete a hearing exam to determine your type and degree of hearing loss. These tests include:
- Pure tone testing
- Bone conduction testing
- Speech testing
- Acoustic reflex testing
- Auditory brainstem response
- Otoacoustic emissions
They will then use this information to put together an individualized treatment plan, usually including a recommendation for a specific hearing aid to fit your budget, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.
To learn more about the importance of treating your hearing loss or to get started on your journey toward better hearing, contact the experts at PDX ENT today.