Many studies to date have presented the strong link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Many individuals, as they begin to age, suffer some from degree of hearing loss. If untreated this hearing loss can contribute to a number of negative health factors including decreased cognitive function.
An article published by the Valley Hearing Center mentions a recent study conducted by researchers with the Université Victor-Segalen, Bordeaux 2 has strong evidence that wearing a hearing aid in response to diagnosed hearing loss can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. It found that individuals over 65 years old with hearing loss who wear hearing aids regularly present the same risk for age-related cognitive decline as those who have no hearing loss.
“For the first time, we have evidence that hearing aids are a prevention against accelerated cognitive decline in later years. That’s a powerful motivator for the more than 75 percent of individuals with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids but are reluctant to address their hearing health,” says Donald Schum, Ph.D., vice president of audiology and professional practice for Oticon, Inc
The same article by the Valley Hearing Center makes a number of excellent points. Not only has untreated hearing loss been linked to several cognitive disorders, it may also be linked to the onset of dementia in older adults. It is thought that when the hearing centers of the brain are compromised, the increased efforts to “fill in the blanks” cause an individual to become mentally exhausted, therefore making everyday activities more difficult. As a result, these people often withdraw from social interactions because of the exhaustion, which is linked to depression.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, hearing loss is the most common chronic health condition affecting older adults. They state that:
One in eight Americans (13 percent/30 million) ages 12+ has hearing loss in both ears.
Among adults ages 70+ with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30 percent) has ever used them.
Even fewer adults (approximately 16 percent), ages 20 to 69, who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them.
The typical patient waits an average of 7 to 10 years before seeking treatment for hearing loss.
These statistics should be very eye opening for anyone who is suffering from hearing loss. Hearing aids are more important than simply hearing your environment on a daily basis, they could play an integral part in your future. If you have any questions in regards to treating your hearing loss, give the team here a call today at (805) 496-3553 or reach out at priorityhearingaidgroup.com.