Hearing loss often co-exists with other health issues known as co-morbidities. Below are five comorbidities associated with hearing loss:
- Cardiovascular disease: Lack of blood flow or restricted blood flow is known to cause heart disease. An interruption to the blood flow to the inner ear can cause damage to the hair cells leading to permanent hearing loss.
- Diabetes: Research has shown that hearing loss is twice more common in individuals with diabetes than in individuals who do not have diabetes. One of the proposed theories is that elevated levels of glucose in the blood can cause damage to the hair cells in the inner ear causing hearing loss.
- Social Isolation and loneliness: Our ability to hear people around us helps us stay engaged with our environment and connected to our loved ones. The loss of hearing ability causes us to have to compensate by having to put in more effort. Effortful communication often causes us to pull back or shy away from conversations simply because it’s “too stressful”. Shying away from conversations can in turn lead to social isolation and cause us to be lonely.
- Depression: Being unable to hear our loved ones as well as we used to can cause emotional distress triggering depression. Having to ask for frequent repetitions can be infuriating and frustrating for both the individual with having loss and their loved one, further adding to the negative emotions.
- Cognitive impairment and dementia: Symptoms of untreated hearing loss are often times mistaken for dementia or cognitive decline. Withdrawal from conversations, gaps in memory and lack of interest in ones surroundings can be characteristics displayed by both individuals with cognitive impairment and dementia. Recent research has shown the individuals with untreated hearing loss are more likely to have cognitive decline. The greater the degree of hearing loss, the higher the risk of dementia.
At Tustin Hearing Center, our mission is to help educate the public about hearing loss and promote the importance of prevention and treatment. We are passionate about “hearing” and the importance of hearing health. Our Patients for Life philosophy is to provide the best hearing healthcare possible. As a member of the Tustin Hearing Center Family, you have our promise to stay committed to you and your hearing. To schedule your appointment with one of our Doctors of Audiology, call us at (714) 731-6549. We look forward to seeing you soon!