No doubt about it, hearing loss is frustrating. It frustrates the people who have it and their loved ones, friends, and colleagues. However, annoying and more difficult communication is just one effect of hearing loss. It also creates problems for walking (poor balance) and increases the risk of falls and dementia.
Research led by Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins, found mild hearing loss doubled the risk of dementia, and moderate loss tripled it. With severe hearing, people were five times more likely to develop dementia.
Can you mitigate these risks? Yes! Hearing aids reduce the risk of dementia by feeding your brain the sound stimulation it needs to function normally. And hearing aids make comfortable communication a reality once again.
You can’t run from hearing loss
Trying to disguise your hearing loss is self-defeating. Still, many people give it a shot. For instance, untreated hearing loss isolates you socially and impairs your balance, making you less steady on your feet. Both are sure signs of unsuccessful aging.
By comparison, successful aging is adapting to the health challenges you face today so you can live a healthy life in the future.
Resisting treatment for hearing loss only increases the risk of more significant brain damage, making delayed treatment less effective. As Lin and team at Johns Hopkins found,
Brain scans show us that hearing loss may contribute to a faster rate of atrophy in the brain.
To age successfully with hearing loss, don’t let the following five excuses prevent you from getting it treated.
1. My hearing’s not that bad.
Hearing aid users wait an average of ten years to get help for hearing loss. But during that long denial, communication with loved ones becomes progressively more stressful, not to mention more social isolation and brain atrophy.
Our findings emphasized just how important it is to be proactive in addressing any hearing declines over time. —Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D.
2. Wearing hearing aids means I’m old. I’m not ready for that.
Sure, you want to hide signs of aging, but excluding yourself from conversations and activities only increases the perception that you’re older and less competent. With the help of hearing aids, you can reconnect with family and friends and be more involved, which helps your brain stay younger.
3. I don’t like the way hearing aids look.
Today’s hearing aids are small and inconspicuous — not those ugly flesh-colored monsters of yesteryear.
Even celebrities (like former President Bill Clinton and football Hall of Famer Mike Singletary) are wearing them proudly.
4. I heard that hearing aids are difficult to use.
Hearing aids require a break-in period, a time for your brain (and you) to adjust. That’s why many hearing centers offer a trial period. Finding the type and brand of hearing aids that work best for you is essential for hearing-aid success.
5. Hearing aids cost too much.
Sixty-one percent of users pay the bill themselves. But when you account for the health risks inflicted by hearing loss, hearing aids are a high-return investment in your health and future.
If you’re 60 and older
If you live in Paducah, KY or in one of the surrounding communities, schedule a hearing screening with us at Purchase Ear Technology. Tim Harmon and his staff will help you decide if hearing aids are a good fit for you. You can give us a call at (270) 558-3996 or CLICK HERE to contact us. Purchase Ear Technology is conveniently located at 2008 Broadway St in Paducah KY. At Purchase Ear Technology, you are more than a patient. You are family!