It’s so easy for so many of us to get wrapped up in daily living that we simply put-off regular hearing healthcare visits. Actually, if we are really being honest, we procrastinate on a lot more than just hearing healthcare as we get older. The thing is, our hearing health is one of the most important, yet vastly under-rated, heath care areas we should be most concerned with maintaining as we age.
Who has Hearing Loss?
We’ve talked about the 750 million people world-wide who suffer from untreated hearing loss of some degree, which translates to approximately 40 million Americans living with hearing loss. That 40 million then breaks down further to 1 in every 6 adults in the U.S. with hearing loss right now. If you need more statistics, consider these:
- By age 40, 1 in 10 adults have some level of hearing loss
- Hearing loss is the 3rd most prevalent health issue in the U.S., behind only Arthritis and heart disease
- There is a significant association between high blood pressure and hearing loss
- Approximately 80% of people with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids
As we age, all human brains become smaller, but did you realize that brain shrinkage is actually accelerated in adults with hearing loss? The difficult part of hearing loss is that it happens gradually over time and in many cases, the person living with hearing loss does not notice the decline in their hearing abilities until the hearing loss gets more substantial. All the while the person experiencing hearing loss can struggle to understand all kinds of interactions, at work, at home, socially… leading to further feelings of isolation and even depression.
National Health & Retirement Study
Our hearing healthcare is one of our primary bodily senses. And, with the growing statistics of increased hearing loss across the globe and its association to early on-set dementia and other cognitive issues, we must consider what we are doing wrong. A group of researchers recently tracked 2,000 older adults as part of a national Health and Retirement Study. The 2,000 study participants were tracked before and after the use of hearing aids.
According to Asri Maharani, a researcher at the University of Manchester, Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, the study “found the rate of cognitive decline was slowed by 75 percent following the adoption of hearing aids…it is a surprising result.”
The Health and Retirement study worked to monitor participants through an array of face-to-face interviews and conversations over time in order to assess participants’ cognitive abilities prior to using hearing aids. Each participant was further tracked for their cognitive abilities as they wore hearing aids from the first day to their last. According to Experimental Psychologist, Piers Dawes, also working on this study, “We weren’t expecting that hearing aid use would eliminate cognitive decline. That’s just not going to happen… but the reduction rate of change is quite substantial. It’s a very intriguing finding. ”
It’s true that age-related cognitive decline of some level is inevitable however, the Health and Retirement study produced results supporting the positive impact wearing hearing aids had on the participants in the study. Furthermore, the majority of study participants showed remarkably improved cognitive abilities at the end of their time with hearing aids. As a result, this study adds to the evidence that cognitive decline is connected to untreated hearing loss.
Are You Ready To Get A Hearing Test?
In our daily lives, so many factors influence our hearing abilities, from construction equipment, to traffic and music, we live in a loud world. Even our lifestyle habits influence our hearing abilities. So, when you are considering skipping a hearing test for yourself and your loved ones, remember what you’ve read here today and consider the risk of living with untreated hearing loss.
Rhode Island Hearing Aids
Physicians Hearing Solutions is committed to working together to bring the most quality hearing healthcare to our patients in order to achieve our overall goal of improving all of our patients with an increased quality of life. To fulfill this mission, we are committed to earning the trust and respect of all of our patients, through providing professionalism; ensuring a creative, challenging and compassionate professional environment; exceeding your expectations; listening to those we are privileged to serve; and always striving for continuous improvements at all levels.
At Physicians Hearing Solutions, we offer specialized hearing help from determining a hearing loss to finding the right hearing solution for your lifestyle and budget. Physicians Hearing Solutions also offers patients the choice of seeing one of our Doctors of Audiology or our National Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist. Our hearing healthcare professionals offer patients a clear path to better hearing health combined with specialized hearing support services. Each of the Physicians Hearing Solutions team member’s value providing a superior patient experience and quality hearing healthcare services to all patients, every time.
Schedule your free hearing screening today: (401) 921-0181 or find us online at: www.phsdocs.com.