Scientists estimate hearing loss may be the biggest potentially treatable risk factor for dementia. In fact, a one study found a significant connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist Matthew Connor explains how you can improve what you hear and protect how you think.
“Recent research has shown that hearing aids have actually been protective of cognitive decline,” explains Dr. Connor. “And that there’s a lower incidence of dementia among hearing aid users.”
Hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline, but it can be corrected. It’s recommended that everyone over the age of 60 get their hearing checked once a year. And the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/hearingloss/default.htmlrecommends getting your hearing checked if you notice any of these signs:
- Trouble understanding conversations in loud environments, like in a restaurant
- Difficulty understanding speech over the phone
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves or to speak slower
- Ringing in your ears
- Needing to turn the TV volume way up
“If you’re someone who has resisted hearing aids in the past, the good news is that hearing aid technology has advanced dramatically over the past decade,” assures Dr. Connor.
You may want to start by talking with your primary-care provider. They’ll rule out infection or injury then they can refer you to a specialist for more specific tests and treatment.
“The benefits of hearing aids are shared by both the person themself wearing the hearing aid and also, the people around them, their loved ones,’ says Dr. Connor.
We certainly like the sound of that.