As we age, many of us experience a decline in hearing abilities: we just think of it as a part of getting older. Recent studies have shown, however, that there can be more substantial consequences to hearing impairment than just the occasional inconvenience or having to turn up the volume on the television.
A University of British Columbia Study has shown that seniors with hearing impairment that has gone undiagnosed are more likely to be socially isolated, and eventually also suffer cognitive impairment as well.
The study found, in participants from the ages of 60 to 69, for every 10-decibel drop in hearing sensitivity (about the volume of breathing) the risk of social isolation may increase by 52 percent! The same decrease in hearing ability also corresponds with cognitive decline equivalent to about four years of aging.
Because hearing loss is not often thought of as a serious health issue, there have been less health care resources dedicated to detection and prevention. With the knowledge that social isolation and cognitive decline contribute significantly to mortality rates (similar to alcohol consumption and smoking), however, this may be a problem that we need to invest more resources and time into understanding and preventing.
Something as simple as a yearly hearing screening can give you or your loved ones the knowledge you need to know if interventions such as hearing devices are necessary to halt or slow this decline and preserve your daily way of life.
Hearing loss can be arrested and sometimes treated if caught early, so don’t wait. Come in today for a hearing test and take control of your hearing and your health!