Hearing

FACTS

  • 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

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Excessive noise exposure, especially repeated loud sounds
  • Medications
    • 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

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