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There are 48 million people throughout the US suffering from hearing loss. Of those people, only 20 percent who can benefit from the use of a hearing aid actually wears them. Living with untreated hearing loss can do more damage than originally thought and those who seek treatment see improvements in all aspects of their lives. Hearing loss can be frustrating for those who have it and for their loved ones. Recent research from Johns Hopkins University reveals that it also is linked with walking problems, falls and even dementia.
The Links Between Hearing and Health
In a study that tracked 639 adults for nearly 12 years, Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, MD, PhD, and his colleagues found that mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate loss tripled risk, and people with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia. According to Dr. Lin, “Hearing loss also contributes to social isolation. You may not want to be with people as much, and when you are you may not engage in conversation as much. These factors may contribute to dementia.”
Do Not Hesitate with Hearing
Researchers estimate that people with hearing loss wait, on average, seven years before getting help for hearing loss. During that time, communication with loved ones becomes more difficult, and isolation and health risks increase. “Our findings emphasized just how important it is to be proactive in addressing any hearing declines over time,” says Dr. Lin.
Myths about Hearing Aids
“Wearing hearing aids means I’m old, and I’m not ready for that.”
It’s normal to feel worried that hearing loss means you’re aging—and to want to hide it. Plenty of people with a hearing impairment sit silently rather than joining in conversations and activities. However, being able to communicate well with others can help your brain stay younger.
“I don’t like the way hearing aids look.”
Today’s hearing aids and cochlear implants are smaller (and less conspicuous) than ever before.
“Hearing aids are difficult to use.”
There is a breaking-in period as you—and your central auditory system and brain—adjust to life with hearing aids. That’s why most doctors and hearing centers include a trial period, so you can be sure the type you’ve chosen works for you.
“Hearing aids cost too much.”
Hearing aids are an investment. It is important to remember how important these devices are to aid in the happiness and quality of your life – this that are priceless.
Treat Your Hearing Loss and Reconnect to Your Life
There are many benefits to treating your hearing. Often, people do not realize that their hearing is connected to so many components of their well-being, including general health, emotional well-being and professional success. Once you start using your hearing aids, you may start to see improvements in more than your ability to hear.
Improved Mental Health – Those that treat their hearing loss have a decrease in feelings of depression, anger and anxiety.
Improved Cognitive Health – Individuals with untreated hearing loss are at an increased risk of cognitive decline.
Improved Physical Health – Individuals with untreated hearing loss are three times more likely to suffer physical injuries, specifically falls.
Improved Balance – Individuals that use a hearing device to treat their hearing loss may also see an improvement in their balance.
Improved Ability to Focus – Treating hearing loss could help you concentrate in various areas of your life, from workplace meetings to conversations with friends.
Improved Ability to Learn – New research suggests that untreated hearing loss can lead to problems storing new information. Treating hearing loss could help improve cognitive abilities.
Increased Earning Power – Untreated hearing loss leads to reduced job performance and less monetary compensation. Studies have found that people who treat their hearing loss earn as much as normal hearing colleagues.
Renewed Confidence – Treating hearing loss enables an individual to once again be able to navigate the world on their own.
Increased Control Over Life Events – When overcoming a reliance on others to understand what is going on in the hearing world, an individual with hearing loss will regain their sense of control.
Better Relationships – Being able to successfully communicate with loved ones leads to healthier and longer-lasting relationships.
Increased Social Interactions – Improved communication leads to a boost in confidence and more social activities with friends and loved ones.
Visit Us at All Ear Doctors
When it comes to hearing loss, seeking treatment comes with a number of significant benefits to many different aspects of your life. Why wait? If you’ve experienced changes in your hearing, contact us at All Ear Doctors today to schedule an appointment!