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Health and Medical

Hearing Loss’s Unknown Risks

Hearing loss is a source of frustration for both those who suffer from it and those who care for them. However, new research from Johns Hopkins University has connected it to walking issues, falls, and even dementia. (hearing aids singapore)

In a nearly 12-year investigation, Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues discovered that minor hearing loss increased the risk of dementia. People with a moderate hearing loss were three times more likely to acquire dementia, while those with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely.

Hearing and Health: What’s the Connection? (hearing aids singapore)

According to Lin, “brain scans suggest that hearing loss may lead to a higher rate of brain shrinkage.” “Social isolation is exacerbated by hearing loss. You may not want to be around people as often as you used to, and when you are, you may not want to engage in conversation as much as you used to. These elements may play a role in dementia.”

Your ears pick up small clues that aid with balance while you walk. Lin observes that hearing loss muffles these vital messages. “Just processing sound makes your brain work harder.” Some of the mental processing required to walk properly may be hampered by this subconscious multitasking.”

Myths about hearing aids that are holding you back

Can hearing aids help to mitigate these dangers? Lin hopes to find out in a future study that is still in the works. He points out that “these studies have never been done before.” “What we do know is that wearing hearing aids has no disadvantages.” They work for the majority of people who try them. And in some people, they can make all the difference, allowing people to reconnect with friends and family and become more involved.”

Despite the fact that almost 27 million Americans aged 50 and up suffer from hearing loss, only one in every seven of them utilises a hearing aid. Lin advises that if you believe your hearing has deteriorated, you should schedule a hearing test with an audiologist. Don’t allow the following myths discourage you from seeking help if you have hearing loss.

“I don’t think my hearing is that awful.”

Hearing aid users, on average, wait ten years to get help for their hearing loss. However, communicating with loved ones becomes increasingly difficult during this time, and isolation and health risks rise. “Our findings highlighted the need of being proactive in correcting any hearing loss that occurs over time,” adds Lin.

“I’m not ready to be old since I’m wearing hearing aids.”

It’s natural to be concerned that hearing loss indicates ageing and to try to conceal it. Many persons with hearing impairments prefer to remain silent rather than participate in conversations and activities because they are afraid that their hearing impairments will make them appear helpless or incompetent. The truth is that socialising with people might help your brain stay younger and more engaged in life.

“I’m not a fan of the way hearing aids appear.”

Forget with the large, whistling earpieces of the past. Hearing aids and cochlear implants are now smaller (and less noticeable) than they have ever been. Even celebrities (such as former President Bill Clinton and NFL Hall of Famer Mike Singletary) are boldly sporting them.

“I’ve heard that hearing aids might be challenging to operate.”

As you—and your central auditory system and brain—adjust to life with hearing aids, there is a break-in period. That’s why most doctors and hearing clinics offer a trial period so you can be confident the model you choose is perfect for you, whether it’s a miniature behind-the-ear model or one that fits inside your ear.

“Hearing aides are prohibitively expensive.”

Currently, only a few states compel health insurers to pay for hearing aids singapore for persons of all ages. As a result, 61% of users pay their bills on their own. Hearing aids can be costly, with an average cost of $1,675 per ear for equipment, fittings, and examinations. When you consider the hefty expense of hearing loss, it’s money well spent.

Definitions

Social isolation is a type of loneliness that can have a negative impact on one’s health. People who are socially isolated have minimal touch with others on a daily basis, have few fulfilling connections, and have a lack of a sense of belonging. Poor food, smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, depression, dementia, poor sleep, and heart disease are all linked to social isolation.

Dementia (di-men-sha) is a loss of brain function that can result from a range of brain illnesses. Forgetfulness, impaired thinking and judgement, personality changes, agitation, and loss of emotional control are some of the symptoms. Dementia can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, or a lack of blood flow to the brain. The majority of dementias are irreversible.

Cochlear implant (koe-klee-er): A device that stimulates the auditory (hearing) nerve and is inserted into the inner ear. It’s used to help children and adults with substantial hearing loss regain their sense of hearing.

Apnea (sleep deprivation)

Several recent investigations have found a strong association between sleep apnea and hearing loss. Medical experts aren’t sure why people with sleep apnea are more likely to develop hearing loss, but they believe it’s because the disorder lowers blood flow to the inner ear, which is a complicated system that relies on oxygen to interpret sound properly. It’s also conceivable that years of snoring have harmed your hearing.

Excessive consumption of alcohol

People who drink in excess of the recommended amount have more to fear than chronic ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. According to studies, heavy drinking impairs the central auditory cortex, lengthening the time it takes your brain to comprehend sound. Excessive drinking in young adults can also cause issues with low-frequency sound processing. Even one night of overindulgence might throw your balance off: This is because alcohol is absorbed into the fluid of the inner ear, which regulates balance, even after it has left the blood and brain.

A lack of iron

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania established a link between iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA) and hearing loss after studying the medical records of nearly 305,000 persons. Hearing loss was twice as common in people with IDA than in people without the blood illness. Although the researchers did not claim that iron shortage caused hearing loss, they did acknowledge the mineral’s importance in maintaining a healthy blood supply to the inner ear’s fragile hair cells, which process sound.

Mumps

This common childhood disease causes painful swelling of the salivary glands on both sides of the face, but it can also cause enlargement of the membranes around the brain and hearing loss in severe cases. What effect does mumps have on your hearing? The cochlea, which is located inside your ear, is thought to be damaged by the highly contagious viral disease. Although studies indicates that only 1-4 percent of persons infected with the mumps suffer from hearing loss, the precise rate is uncertain. The greatest method to keep youngsters healthy is to immunise them against the disease.

Stress that lasts a long time

Almost everyone has experienced brief bouts of high stress at some point in their lives, but prolonged acute stress can lead to hearing loss. It’s most likely a circulation issue in the event of hearing loss. When you’re under a lot of stress, your body diverts oxygen to your muscles so you can react faster if you need to. When a danger has gone, the body usually returns to normal; but, in circumstances of acute stress, the body does not receive that information. That means that a lack of sufficient oxygen and blood circulation might harm other regions of the body, such as the inner ear’s hearing systems.

Vaping

While the verdict on vaping as a substitute for cigarette smoking is yet out, one thing is certain: smoking, nicotine, and vaping are all harmful to your hearing. Nicotine is an addictive substance that reduces blood flow to all regions of your body, including your inner ear, which houses the delicate stereocilia that interpret and transport sound from your outer ear to your brain. Even nicotine-free e-cigarettes have the potential to harm your hearing. Propylene glycol, an alcohol-based solvent that has been shown to be detrimental to ears when used topically, is found in the mixture of flavourings, colorings, and other chemicals that give the e-cigarette its flavour.

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