Hearing Loss Affects Overall Health

Hearing loss, even at a mild stage, can be a serious problem. It can significantly increase the risks of developing cognitive decline, depression, social isolation and dementia and increase the risk of falling. A 2017 report in The Lancet found that early treatment of hearing loss is the single most effective modifiable factor for the prevention of dementia.

The impact of hearing loss on the brain can be detrimental, yet possibly reversible and avoidable if treated early. With today’s advanced diagnostic testing, hearing loss can be detected at the earliest stages, when treatment is most important.

The American Academy of Audiology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and American Medical Association each recommend having hearing screenings as early as age 50 for overall health, noting that many people will already display early signs of hearing loss by then. As we age, the chances increase: nearly 50 percent of all seniors between ages 60 and 70 will experience hearing loss, almost two-thirds of people between ages 70 and 80 and practically 80 percent of people aged 80 and higher.

Initial indicators of possible hearing loss include difficulty following a conversation in background noise (e.g. in a restaurant), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), decreased social interaction, increased television volume and development of depression.

Source: Jacquie Elcox, HIS, Treasure Valley Hearing and Balance. For more information, call 208-608-5045 or visit TreasureValleyHearing.com.

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