Despite how common hearing loss is, with 15% of Americans over 18’s having some difficulty hearing: many do not seek treatment. Of the 28.8 million U.S. adults who could benefit from using hearing aids, only 30% of those 70 and older use them (Source: NIDCD). Even more concerning is that it can take a person on average 7 years to seek professional advice.
Many see hearing loss as just part of ageing. For others, accepting a hearing loss can be difficult. To raise awareness of how important this issue is, here are 5 ways that hearing loss can affect you.
- Depression. Hearing loss can impact your ability to listen and engage with people or to fully participate in activities. Social isolation is a reaction to this, i.e. avoiding going to places that you feel you cannot enjoy anymore or that could lead to embarrassment. The things you used to look forward to now seem impossible. This, alongside stress and feeling nobody understands your problem can lead to depression.
- Lifespan. A study published on JAMA otolaryngology-Head and neck surgery online edition, (Sept 24, 2015) suggested that adults with untreated hearing loss may have a shorter lifespan than those who treat their hearing problems.
- Balance. Even mild hearing loss can triple your fall risk. Every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss increases that risk by 1.4 times, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and National Institute on ageing.
- Cognitive Decline. A related study from the same team found that untreated hearing loss also speeds up age-related cognitive decline by as much as 30-40%. Some possible explanations include social isolation and the fact that the brain may be expending too much energy processing sound at the expense of memory and thinking.
- Dementia. Another John Hopkins study found that adults with mild untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia. Those with severe hearing loss are 5 times as likely.
The message is clear, look after your hearing, look after your health.
Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again
The easiest way to check for hearing loss is with an annual hearing assessment. This can detect small changes in your hearing that you may not have noticed. Hearing assessments are quick and painless. At Hearing Help Associates, we’ll talk you through the entire process and review your results at the end. Please contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.
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