Hearing Aids? Do you need them? How do you know?

My Everyday Tools: Hearing Aids and Glasses

It seems odd that hearing aids are not something I focused on as a tool for assisting my “wellbeing” in a significant way.  If you think about it at all, it would seem that hearing aids are just as important as glasses for reading and driving. My favorite question these days, which I have adopted from Rachel Maddow of MSNBC –  “Why is that?

Flash back to August of 2017, when I wrote a post about hearing loss, and at that time I called attention to the research, which determined that dementia ( I repeat, dementia) could be related to hearing loss. (https://livingsenior.me/2017/08/21/hearing-loss-dementia/)

Flash forward, after a recent hearing test (have you had one lately? ever had one?), my Audiologist doctor determined that I required hearing aids due to hearing loss in both ears.  In addition, she was concerned because difficulty hearing raises dementia risk. There it is again: dementia and hearing loss are related.

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Hearing Loss & Dementia

How often have you found yourself questioning whether you heard something correctly, or have asked someone to repeat themselves? Does it happen in a crowded room?  Are you turning up the volume on your TV more often?

  • Hearing loss that occurs gradually as you age (presbycusis) is common. About 25 percent of people in the United States between the ages of 55 and 64 have some degree of hearing loss. For those older than 65, the number of people with some hearing loss is almost 1 in 2. Source: Hearing loss – Mayo Clinic

In my research the following information gave me a more serious approach to thinking about hearing loss and why I should pay attention.

  1. People with mild, moderate and severe hearing loss are 2, 3 and 5 times more likely to develop dementia respectively than people with normal hearing.Even after taking into account other factors that are associated with high risk of dementia, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, age, sex and race, hearing loss and dementia are still strongly associated.  Source: Dementia and hearing loss – hear-it.org
  2. The findings concerning hearing loss and dementia suggest that it might be possible to delay the onset of dementia through the use of hearing aids and paying more attention to the prevention and early identification of hearing loss.Source: Hearing aids, cognition and dementia – hear-it.org

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