New studies have linked prolonged hearing loss with cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
It makes sense when you consider these facts:
- 1 in 10 Americans experience some degree of hearing loss.
- Hearing loss can affect people of all ages — varying from mild to profound.
- By the age of 65, 1 out of 3 people has a hearing loss.
- Hearing loss may be mistaken for aloofness, confusion, personality changes or dementia.
- Hearing loss is the 3rd most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease.
- Tinnitus (or ringing in the ears) can accompany hearing loss and may be as debilitating as hearing loss.
- Because we hear with our brains, untreated hearing loss can lead to cognitive difficulties and increase the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.
It is commonly accepted that brain exercises such as puzzles and Sudoku can help to keep our brain sharp. Now, the research from “Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care,” an article in the Lancet Commissions, July 20, 2017, demonstrates that better hearing can help our brains stay healthier and sharper as well.
Although most people experience some hearing loss as they get older, they tend to wait approximately 10 years before getting help. We can see now that 10 years is too long to wait. During those years, communication becomes more difficult resulting in an increased isolation from conversations and interaction with loved ones. The findings emphasize just how important being proactive is in addressing any hearing loss we may have.
One reason people wait is that hearing loss tends to progress slowly and is often hard to recognize until it becomes extreme. A simple complimentary hearing exam is essential in promoting healthy hearing. It can help detect hearing loss early enough so your Audiologist is able to treat it successfully, preventing or reducing the likelihood of physical, mental and social health complications from affecting your quality of life.
Be proactive, get your hearing tested today.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Dr. Renee Hadad Cichon. Dr. Cichon is a Doctor of Audiology with HearAid Audiology Clinic, HearAid, LLC and may be reached at 888-625-0655 or by email at HearAidLLC.hotmail.com