Risk of Untreated Hearing Loss
We face many risks as we age including the risk of dementia, cognitive decline, falling, memory loss, and more.
Of all of these risks, our patients are primarily concerned with the risk of cognitive decline and that of developing dementia.
Many of us know someone who has dealt with this debilitating condition. The good news is that there are things that can be done to reduce the increased risk of dementia. In fact, properly treating your hearing loss is the #1 most modifiable factor in reducing the risk of dementia.
A new study, “Self-Reported Hearing Loss: Hearing Aids and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25-year Study”, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, compared the trajectory of cognitive decline among older adults who were using hearing aids and those who were not. The study found no difference in the rate of cognitive decline between people with no reported hearing loss and people with hearing loss who used hearing aids.
In other words, when you properly treat your hearing loss, your risk of cognitive decline improves to the level of those that don’t have hearing loss. This finding is significant.
Today’s advanced hearing technology stimulates the brain similar to those that have no loss at all, reducing the risks of cognitive decline.
A separate study at Johns Hopkins found that cognitive diminishment was 41 percent greater in seniors with untreated hearing loss. The study identified a link between the degree of hearing loss and the risk of developing dementia.
Individuals with mild hearing loss were twice as likely to develop dementia, those with moderate hearing loss were three times as likely, and those with severe hearing loss were five times as likely to develop dementia when compared to individuals with normal hearing.
A nationwide survey of 4,000 adults with hearing loss compiled by the National Council on Aging (Kochkin & Rogin, 2000) also found significantly higher rates of psychosocial disorders including depression and anxiety in individuals with untreated hearing loss — those who were not wearing hearing aids.
As you can see, treating your hearing loss isn’t just about improving your hearing. It’s about improving your life. Click below to reduce your risks from untreated hearing loss.