The new year is a great time to make some positive changes in your life. As the year goes by we can find it easy to let our healthy habits slip, and 2021 was particularly challenging for many people. Although the old year brought its share of struggles, the new year brightens our outlook and optimism. Why not take this opportunity to launch yourself into the next year with some opportunities for growth and better health?
The classic items at the top of the list of “resolutions” include diet and exercise, but your health is a much more holistic picture of wellbeing. These keys to health are powerful, but each element of a healthy life interlocks with the others to create a holistic picture of wellbeing. Let’s take a look at the ways that hearing loss connects with other health conditions, making it a top priority for your health in 2022.
Hearing Loss and Physical Health
Research shows that hearing loss has a strong relationship with many other aspects of physical health. Those who have untreated hearing loss are more likely to have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and a long list of other health conditions. However, it’s not as simple as hearing loss causing these other issues. In most cases, a third factor is responsible for causing hearing loss and other health conditions.
Many physicians even consider hearing loss to be a warning sign that other health issues might be on the way. For instance, hearing loss can be caused by a lack of oxygen delivered to the tiny hairlike organelles of the inner ear called stereocilia. If insufficient oxygen is making its way to these hair cells, then it’s possible that a blockage is a problem for the cardiovascular system or that the blood has a high glucose level, pointing to cardiovascular disease or diabetes. In this way, getting a hearing test can be a good way to clue in your physician to other health issues.
Hearing Loss and Mental Health
The new year is a great time to focus on holistic health that includes your mental wellbeing. The year behind us was full of challenges to mental wellbeing, indeed. Many people are looking forward to a new year of balance, peace of mind, and social connections. Yet, hearing loss can get in the way of each of those dimensions of good mental health. With untreated hearing loss, conversations often become more difficult. This struggle to communicate can directly cause mental health issues, but indirect effects can also occur. For instance, if you have trouble communicating, you might be less likely to engage in social gatherings. This hesitance to socialize can bring its own mental health issues, as well. When we feel socially disconnected, the pain of loneliness can become unbearable. Though it might not be intuitive, hearing loss can be directly connected to mental wellbeing, so why not take the opportunity of the new year to prioritize your hearing health as a way to promote holistic health, as well?
Prioritizing Hearing Health
What practical steps can you take to promote hearing health? The first step to take in the new year is to schedule a hearing test. This exam is a thorough diagnostic assessment of your hearing ability. If the test reveals that you don’t have hearing loss, the measurements can be a good baseline for future tests. If you find out that you do have hearing loss, this test is an opportunity to discuss getting treatment. Each person’s experience of hearing loss is unique, and your hearing health professional is equipped to interpret the results of your hearing test and to discover which hearing aids are right for your individual needs.
The results of your test will no doubt point you toward better holistic health in the new year, particularly if you have been living with undiagnosed hearing loss. The time is now to turn the page to a new chapter in your health journey, and a hearing test is a great way to begin. Rather than setting unreasonable goals for yourself this year, why not take this opportunity to make a commitment to good health in 2022 that you can keep?