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- 15% of American adults have significant hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is more common amongst men, especially at younger ages.
- Hearing loss contributes to memory loss and dementia by:
- Increasing the rate at which brain cells decline
- Causing social isolation
- Creating problems with balance
- Using extraordinary amounts of cognitive resources trying to hear, making it unavailable to do other tasks
- The more severe the hearing loss, the higher the risk of memory impairment and dementia,
according to a study from Johns Hopkins.
CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS
- Excessive noise exposure, especially repeated loud sounds
- Chronic use of over-the-counter pain relievers
- Chronic use of some antibiotics
- Some chemotherapy drugs
- Head injury
- Chronic ear infections
TREATMENT FOR HEARING LOSS
- Myths about hearing aids
- “My hearing’s not that bad.”
- Many hearing aid-users wait 10 years before addressing hearing loss which may result in increased health risks and limited communication with others.
- “Wearing hearing aids means I’m old, and I’m not ready for that.”
- Many people fear looking old.
- “I don’t like the way hearing aids look.”
- Hearing aids are smaller and less noticeable than they once were. The whistling once associated with hearing devices is no longer present.
- “I heard that hearing aids are difficult to use.”
- Hearing aids are easy to insert but usually require a short time period to adjust. Most retailers offer a trial period to make sure the user can adjust to the change.
- “Hearing aids cost too much.”
- Hearing aids are becoming increasingly affordable, especially when purchased from membership warehouses, who provide the benefit of volume sales.
FACTS ABOUT HEARING LOSS
- An appointment with an audiologist is recommended to evaluate hearing loss and the need for hearing aids.
- New technologies have created hearing aids and adapters that can:
- Act as a microphone for table conversation
- Serve as an amplifier for television volume that does not affect others in the room
- Offer the ability to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, phone calls, and GPS directions directly through the device