Hearing loss is highly prevalent, affecting well over a billion people worldwide. In about 25 years, this statistic will double. Many studies have clearly identified hearing loss as a major risk factor for adverse health outcomes including reduced quality of life, depression, dementia, and possibly mortality. Hearing aids are a first line intervention for most individuals with hearing loss. However, the delay in getting “hearing help” can be up to 10 years!
A recent Lancet Study utilized a cross sectional analysis of 9885 adults who participated in the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2012. The association between hearing aid use and risk of mortality was examined among adults with various degrees of hearing loss. Among individuals with hearing loss, the risk of mortality was lower among regular hearing aid users than “never” users of hearing aids.
There are many theories proposed to explain the association between hearing loss and mortality. The first possible explanation involves common pathology that affects both hearing and comorbidities leading to death, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia. A second mechanism is the relationship between hearing loss and frailty. Thus, auditory deprivation resulting from hearing loss might negatively affect brain structure.
The bottom line is consistent hearing aid use contributes to improved brain function. Several studies suggest up to a 50% reduction in cognitive decline with consistent hearing aid use. In my opinion, there needs to be additional efforts to improve accessibility and affordability of hearing aids in individuals with lower socioeconomic status.
If you suspect the possibility of HEARING LOSS, don’t be a fool and wait years to get a complete hearing evaluation. Dr. Izzy and his Staff are always available to provide you with honest answers about your hearing health care. Please feel free to contact our office at 732-451-3962 or visit our website at gardenstatehearing.com.
WE Hear YOU & WE are Here for YOU!