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The Connection Between Mental Health And Hearing

Mental Health And Hearing
Mental health can affect physical health, including hearing problems. It's believed that hearing loss is part of aging, but it can also affect your mental health in many ways

Mental health refers to the general behavior of well-being. It is all about how people feel emotionally, think or even behave. Mental health can affect physical health, including hearing problems. It’s believed that hearing loss is part of aging, but it can also affect your mental health. This article looks at the connection between mental health and hearing. 

What You Need to Know About Mental Health and Hearing

Once you understand how hearing damage occurs, you can easily protect your mental health and hearing problems. A variety of emotional struggles can accompany hearing loss. On the other hand, if you have a hearing problem, you can feel frustrated, leading to mental health issues.

For instance, suppose you strain to hear from the television or sometimes feel you miss out on intimate phone conversations with your distant friends and relatives. This can give you the urge to withdraw from social situations due to embarrassment caused by your poor hearing skills. Therefore, it’s essential not to discount any emotions. Hearing problems and feelings of helplessness that mostly come with it can lead to mental health disorders, as outlined below.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal healthy emotion. However, it could be a mental disorder if you regularly feel excessive nervousness, fear, or even worry. Anxiety can affect your daily activities. Symptoms associated with anxiety are nervousness, panic, fear, or even rapid heartbeat.

People with impaired hearing are affected mainly by anxiety. This is because they are worried about how quickly their hearing loss will worsen and whether their current medication could save their hearing. They also worry about being judged due to miscommunication, especially in social situations.

Depression

This severe medical condition affects your mood and ability to function normally. Depression can make you feel sad, anxious, and even hopeless. Without proper treatment, depression can worsen, last longer, and even die.

People with hearing loss are at a higher risk of being depressed and even experiencing suicidal thoughts. This happens when you are grieving the loss of hearing certain sounds or fighting the feeling of isolation. Impaired hearing can also lower your self-esteem since it restricts your ability to be independent.

Mental Health and Hearing – Sleep Problems

Hearing loss can affect your sleep, leading to other health factors such as depression, which can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes. Tinnitus is the main factor that leads to disrupted sleep. An average person should sleep and relax at night. Not having quality and enough sleep at night will affect one’s daily activities. Sleeping is part of life; everybody should get enough sleep to avoid depression or health-related issues.

Psychosis

Psychosis is a health condition where your mind finds it difficult to determine what is real and what is not. You might experience both hallucinations and delusions, among other features. Hearing loss can be a risk factor for psychosis. As stated, auditory hallucinations such as strange voices can be experienced by people with hearing impairments. This is majorly caused by the feeling of loneliness or disruptions caused by how your brain perceives and recalls information.

Cognitive Decline And Dementia

Cognitive skills are the ability to acquire facial information, whereas dementia is the depreciated ability to remember, think or make decisions that hamper your daily activities. Impaired hearing, mainly in the elderly, can speed up their cognitive decline, thus raising risky conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

It is believed that when the brain is overworking to interpret the world without sounds, it reduces its ability to perform other tasks, thus leading to cognitive decline. Hearing loss also discourages you from being social, which speeds up your cognitive decline due to isolation. Lastly, your brain may shrink as you receive and interpret fewer signals.

 Fatigue

This refers to the overall mental state of feeling weakness or constant tiredness. Fatigue can result from many conditions, such as sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Hearing problems can make you feel exhausted since you must strain to hear correctly, which demands more energy. People with impaired hearing often feel tired and weak due to straining to listen all day long and trying to make sense of what other people are saying.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Many factors can affect your hearing, including age and noise-induced impairments. It is, therefore, advisable to understand those factors to protect your hearing. As mentioned, two significant factors cause hearing loss (age and noise).

Age-related hearing loss generally affects both ears, and its gradual nature can make it difficult for you to notice the hearing problem. As you age, your nerve pathways change, reducing your hearing. Health conditions such as high blood pressure and medications that kill off your sensory receptors can also speed up the issue. Abnormalities in your outer ear can also lead to hearing problems, though in rare incidents.

In noise-induced hearing loss, sensory cells are affected and damaged. Loud noises damage the sensory cells, which later fail to regenerate. Your ears use sensory cells to detect sounds. The damage can be felt on one ear or even both. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may experience gradual or sudden hearing loss.

Treatment For Hearing Loss

Hearing loss problems typically begin with a hearing test done by a professional. Once a hearing impairment is detected, the audiologist puts you under medication, depending on the severity of your hearing loss. It’s crucial if your hearing loss is detected earlier since the sooner you know the severity of the damage and its potential cause, the sooner you can take action to slow down further impairments. Doing so lets you discover if your medications are speeding up your hearing problems.

Mental Health and Hearing – Conclusion

Hearing loss can affect people of all ages mentally. No matter how confident you feel about how sharp your hearing is, it’s advisable to carry out tests more often to protect your hearing. If your hearing loss is detected early, you will be able to slow further impairments as you will be able to access proper treatment. This will also protect you from mental health problems.

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