Posted on Monday, April 08, 2013

About Hearing Loss

About hearing loss

39 million Americans have some form of hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss impacts every aspect of a person's life. It can have a serious impact on health, income, relationships, and mood. All of our senses are personal, but hearing is personal and complex. Still, few people are familiar with the facts or take time to learn about hearing loss.

Facts About Hearing Loss

  • Untreated hearing loss is associated with a higher degree of Alzheimer’s and dementia. A study conducted by Jonathan Peelle and funded by the National Institute on Hearing, showed that hearing loss and the resulting lack of stimulation tended to cause reduction in gray matter. This startling report indicates preserving hearing may be as important as correcting hearing loss in keeping the brain healthy.
  • Untreated hearing loss leads to inability to communicate and creates a distance between family members. It has long been known that untreated hearing loss can create a barrier between an individual and the outside world, including social and physical activities. As Dr. Dewane points out in her article, Hearing Loss in Older Adults — Its Effect on Mental Health, "A sense of belonging is important to mental health," and patients whose hearing loss is not treated tend to be bound by, "a psychological solitary confinement." A study of Americans with hearing aids showed 68 percent said their personal relationships had improved with the use of a hearing aid.
  • People with untreated hearing loss are more likely to feel insecure and anxious. According to the Hearing is Living study people who wear hearing aids are more active and social than those who do not. The study showed the majority (83 percent) of hearing aid users in the U.S. agreed their quality of life improved with better hearing.
  • Untreated hearing loss can lead to cognitive exhaustion--a mental exhaustion which results from the overwhelming amount of energy needed to focus and pay attention to conversations. This exhaustions leads to someone with untreated hearing loss being less able to focus and pay attention. Hearing aids increases the ability to concentrate and pay attention. A hearing aid makes listening, even in stressful situations, easier, thereby helping to eliminate cognitive exhaustion.
  • Untreated hearing loss can lead to a lower quality of life than people who are able to correct their hearing loss. According to the Hearing is Living study, a global study conducted by Hear-the-World people who wear hearing aids are more active and social and happy than those who do not.
  • Untreated hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of falling. A recent study found for every 10 db rise in untreated hearing loss their was a corresponding 1.4 fold rise in the reported incidents of falling.
  • Worldwide studies verify that correcting hearing loss protect brain functions, results in better relationships, higher self-esteem, and a more adventurous lifestyle. Hearing health is now known to be one of the most important things people can do to stay healthy as they age. If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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