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These 4 Side Effects of Hearing Loss Will Surprise You

woman cupping hand to ear senior patient

Most people that are unaware of hearing loss will typically only relate it to a reduced ability to hear sounds. They understand that people with hearing loss can find it difficult to communicate in social situations, and they know that it can be hard for them to perceive certain frequencies. However, there are also several rather surprising side effects that may not be directly related to their hearing or their health.

1. Relationship Problems

Relationship problems can be surprisingly common for people that experience hearing loss. Communicating with a spouse or partner can be challenging if one of them has hearing loss. This is because it can often lead to miscommunication due to words being missed out, and it often means that the hearing-abled person must adjust the way they speak to their partner in order for sounds to be louder and clearer.

Friendships can also be affected by hearing loss. If you’re accustomed to meeting with your friends for a social gathering, then it can be difficult to cope when you start to shy away from those events because of your hearing-related issues. Those with hearing loss often find it hard to understand what people are saying in crowds, and they might even have trouble speaking one-to-one with somebody due to all the background noise.

All of this contributes to relationship problems and is one of the reasons why people that experience hearing loss can often find themselves isolated or even depressed. Thankfully, hearing aids are a great solution to help people that experience hearing loss. If you find that your hearing loss is causing problems with your relationships, then wearing hearing aids can help you overcome those challenges since you’ll be able to clearly perceive sounds and hear others even in crowded areas.

2. Poor Work Performance and Lack of Opportunities

Our ability to hear is incredibly important in the workplace because we’re expected to communicate with our staff and clients to ensure a smooth business operation. However, if you experience hearing loss, then this can hinder your performance at work.

In fact, this reduced performance at work can even lead to a lack of promotion and advancement opportunities. Hearing loss can ultimately affect the success of your career and may hold you back unless you seek a solution such as hearing aids that can help you better communicate with business clients and colleagues.

3. Cognitive decline

Hearing loss affects the brain in more ways than we can imagine. Since our brain can adapt to sensory changes, it can often cause problems when we’re faced with hearing loss. This is because the brain processes and reacts to more sounds than we can even perceive. 

Even something like ambient noise is processed by the brain, thus keeping it healthy and stimulated. However, when you remove this simulation, the brain starts to backfire. It expects sound in places that have been linked to other experiences and senses. But since there’s no sound, it can start to cause complications that confuse the brain.

These kinds of experiences can eventually lead to cognitive decline. Studies have shown that people who experience hearing loss and don’t get treatments like hearing loss are at a higher risk of dementia. On the contrary, those that do decide to use hearing aids are often shown to have improved cognitive ability, effectively stopping the decline.

4. Poor balance

Hearing loss can also affect our balance, making it difficult for us to walk in a straight line without straining ourselves and potentially causing dizziness and vertigo. This is because humans are accustomed to using sound to help us stay balanced. Sound helps us find our position relative to other objects in the room and it communicates with the brain to create a stabilizing effect.

This is one of the reasons why older people are more prone to falls and trips. Since hearing loss is fairly common in older populations, their bodies may find it difficult to stay balanced and they may often experience dizziness. Thankfully, hearing aids can be a great solution to this as it assists your brain in balancing your body and helping you maintain your coordination.

If you’d like to learn more about hearing loss, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Hearing Wellness Centre on (519) 735-4327. Our trained audiologists will be more than happy to book you in for a hearing appointment if you believe that you have hearing loss and they can also assist with other hearing-related queries.