Did you know the most prominent midlife risk factor for dementia is hearing impairment? A 12-year study conducted by the neurology department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that untreated hearing loss increased the risk of dementia. Hearing is optimal to your longevity and is directly related to facilitating lower levels of depression symptoms, greater social engagement, and higher self-efficacy, which directly correlates to your cognitive function.
By age 40, one in ten adults will experience hearing loss. As the most prominent midlife risk factor for dementia, the youngest average age associated with dementia and hearing impairment is 55 years old. By the time someone has come to terms with his or her hearing being a problem, age-related memory loss may have already set in. It is crucial to care for your hearing early.
Only 1 in 7 hearing impaired adults age 50 and older use hearing aids. Studies have shown restoring hearing with hearing aids slows cognitive decline by 75 percent. The reason cognitive decline is affected by hearing may be due to the nerve stimulation provided to the brain by those sensory inputs, which disappear as you age. Implementing hearing aids returns your ears to what they’re missing; proper nerve and brain stimulation, preventing the adverse effects of auditory deprivation.
Have you ever felt exhausted without a contributing cause? Your brain may be working overtime to compensate for lack of sound in your environment, resulting in listening fatigue. When your brain is deprived of auditory reception, it makes you more susceptible to develop social issues, due to an inability to communicate, as well as depression, anxiety, and paranoia. Hearing loss can also triple the risk of an accidental fall. For every 10 decibels lost this risk increases by 140%.
Hearing health is directly related to overall health and well-being. When you can listen to, and engage with the world around you, you live a happier and healthier life. Your hearing plays an optimal role in shaping the roadmap of your health – it is vital to get a jump-start on it sooner rather than later. As a function of your brain, when deprived, you put yourself at risk for an inability to adequately communicate, balance issues, emotional health, and listening fatigue.
Maintain your health as you age by taking control of your hearing today.
Keep your brain sharp – take care of your ears. Dr. Star Lange-Richey, Riesberg Institute’s Audiologist is here to assist you, or those whom may be suffering from on-setting and current hearing loss, to discuss positive solutions to your current ailments. Book your appointment today to discuss options and see if hearing aids are right for you.