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- Even a Mild Hearing Loss Contributes to Cognitive Decline - July 17, 2022
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Nothing is as important as your health and well-being, especially as you get older. It can be difficult to keep up with regular visits to your doctor, but it is imperative to ensure not only your health but also your happiness.
There are, of course, different recommended checkups for different stages of life: pelvic exam and pap smear starting at age 21, mammograms at age 45, prostate exams at age 50, et cetera. The best way to approach illness is through preventative healthcare, whether it is cancer, heart disease, or hearing loss. And seniors are not the only population affected by disabling hearing loss. You can begin requesting an annual hearing exam from your doctor starting as early as age 21.
Prevent Future Medical Conditions
Maintaining your hearing health actually has positive effects on your overall health and quality of life. Studies over the year have shown that untreated hearing loss can lead to anxiety, isolation and cognitive decline, depression, and mental fatigue. Preventative measures, like an exercise regimen, annual hearing exams, and hearing protection when necessary, can help keep the auditory system healthy for years and years to come.
An unfortunate trend in years past has been that many people wait until long after the first signs of hearing loss to have their hearing checked. The Better Hearing Institute estimates an average of 5 to 15 years, in fact. The longer hearing loss goes untreated, the greater the risk of becoming susceptible to the aforementioned medical conditions, and more not named here.
Benefits of Wearing Hearing Aids
The benefits of wearing hearing aids are plenty! As you get used to your new hearing aids, you will notice your communication improving greatly. You will also notice improved communication and comprehension, decreased listening effort, making it easier and more enjoyable to stay connected to friends and family. Additionally, here are several ways you may benefit from wearing hearing aids to treat disabling hearing loss:
Slow Cognitive Decline
Many studies have linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of developing dementia and mental fatigue and cognitive decline. Ongoing studies continue to show the correlation between untreated hearing loss and the absence of hearing aids. Hearing loss, when left untreated, can accelerate atrophy in the auditory nerve system of the brain, where speech and comprehension occur, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania.
However, researchers have found that hearing aids not only slow atrophy, but also improve your ability to hear and your brain’s ability to convert sounds into information. This promising area of research supports that combating disabling hearing loss with hearing aids could indeed slow cognitive decline.
Tinnitus effects nearly 1 in 6 people in the United States, nearly 50 million people. Sometimes it is described as a ringing or clicking sound in the ears, others describe it as a hissing, roaring or buzzing. More often than not, tinnitus is accompanied by some degree of hearing loss. Check with your hearing health care professional to see how a hearing aids fit to your specifications can help you hear better and reduce tinnitus.
Better Pay at Work
A study by the Better Hearing Institute has found that people with untreated hearing loss can earn as much as $30,000 less than their counterparts. It also found that particular risk lessened by more than 90 percent when people with mild hearing loss wore hearing aids, and almost 77 percent for individuals with moderate-to-severe hearing loss. Along with the benefits to your overall health, it would behoove you to perform at your best in your place of work to ensure continued success.
Quality of Life
It has been found that people who wear hearing aids to treat their hearing loss have a better quality of life than those who leave their hearing loss untreated. Communicating with family and friends is easier and more productive than otherwise asking them to repeat something, mis-hearing a word or phrase, or becoming frustrated by your hearing loss.
Maintaining social activity is also important to a healthy quality of life. Avoiding social isolation lowers the risk of depression, cognitive decline, and even dementia and Alzheimer’s. Being in touch with your loved ones, on the phone or in person, helps to promote healthy brain activity and sharpen communication skills.
Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers
To maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle, it is important to check your hearing annually as a part of your overall health screening. Contact us at Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers today to schedule an appointment!