What are the consequences of hearing loss? A biopsychosocial framework

What are the consequences of hearing loss? A biopsychosocial framework

The hard part about selling hearing aids? No one really wants to wear them. They are a piece of unnatural technology that you must get used to wearing in a sensitive part of your body. Moreover, you need to get used to processing sensory information in a new way. It’s new; it’s different; it’s a change. But for many of us, it’s a necessary change. The consequences are too severe, the losses too great, to go unaddressed.

There are multiple anatomical and physiological changes that happen with hearing loss. These changes are exponential over a period of time and by degree of hearing loss. Here we will look at biological, psychological, and social issues surrounding hearing loss.

Brain Changes

Auricular nerves are responsible for picking up sound via wavelengths and transmitting this sensory information to your brain. When hearing loss occurs, less auricular nerve stimulation occurs. When less nerve stimulation occurs, atrophy occurs in the part of the brain where this sensory information is delivered and processed. Imaging studies show atrophy and structural changes in brain regions not only responsible for hearing, but also in regions responsible for memory, speech and language, and cognition. In fact, there is over a decade of research demonstrating an association between hearing loss and overall brain atrophy, otherwise known as dementia. Hearing loss is considered to be a strong indicator of dementia and vice versa. While it’s true that overall brain atrophy occurs with age, individuals seem to be in the express lane for dementia when they have hearing loss. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that the risk of dementia increases by 200-500% depending on the degree of hearing loss.

Fortunately, roughly a third of dementia cases are considered preventable with early treatment. One of the most important early treatments we can make, is the treatment of hearing loss before these structural changes in the brain take place.

Nervous system changes

The auricular nerve is a branch of the vagus nerve, a nerve responsible for parasympathetic states of nervous system activity. Parasympathetic activity is the rest and digest state of the body. Simply, stimulating the auricular nerve stimulates the vagus nerve which stimulates a parasympathetic response, putting you in more of a rest and digest state. Hearing loss presents a serious blow to maintaining and preserving calm in the body and one’s ability to manage stress.

Social consequences

When you have difficulty hearing, you have difficulty participating in conversation and social activities. This not only leads to cognitive decline as we have seen, but also social isolation. As people become aware of their hearing loss, many become uncomfortable engaging in conversation and slowly withdraw. Hearing loss decreases communication in both personal and work relationships potentially causing hardship in both arenas. This also has deleterious consequences on self-esteem and overall mental health.

At HearingAssist, we have developed hearing aids to target mild-moderate hearing loss. We provide an effective and accessible solution for early treatment of hearing loss. We have multiple styles from behind-the-ear models to in-the-ear canal models to offer an appropriate solution for you. Do you wear glasses? The in-the-ear model is likely the best style to suit you. Do you need to be able to adjust the sound and frequency depending on your environment? Our Bluetooth-enabled model allows you to easily and discreetly adjust the settings from your smart phone. Need help in determining which settings are right for you? Simply use the HearingAssist app to test your hearing and it will self-tune your hearing aids based on the results. Have you lost dexterity in your fingers and have difficulty placing those little hearing aid batteries? Many of our hearing aids are rechargeable and allow you to simply dock your hearing aids for an easy charge.

At a fraction of the cost, our hearing aids are an easy and affordable solution. They can be purchased at Walmart in select states (NC, TX, AZ, CO & TN) and are the #1 best selling hearing aid on Walmart.com. Our unparalleled customer service can answer any questions you have. Don’t take it from us, we have hundreds of thousands of happy customers whose testimonies serve as evidence of the improvement of their hearing and overall well-being. Visit us at hearingassist.com to learn more.