This is the time of year when we tend to make lists. Holiday to-do lists are quickly followed by lists of resolutions with plans for change in the new year. Resolution lists often include things to improve our health and well-being. After reading this article, If you or someone you know has untreated hearing loss, you might want to consider adding addressing that problem to the list. What you think you do and what you should know about hearing loss are not necessarily the same. Below is a list of seven things you should know if you or someone close to you might be having a problem hearing.
- Hearing loss is tied to depression.
Research shows that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages, but it is most pronounced in 18 to 69 year-olds. Research also shows that the use of hearing aids reduces depressive symptoms.
- Hearing loss and dementia are linked.
Research shows a connection between hearing loss and dementia, but a Johns Hopkins study of older adults found that hearing loss accelerates brain function decline. Some experts believe that interventions, like hearing aids, could potentially delay or prevent dementia. Research is ongoing.
- Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes.
Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. One study showed that those 60 and younger are at greater risk when broken down by age.
- Your hearing may say something about your heart.
Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.
- Staying fit may also help your hearing.
Research on women’s health shows that a higher level of physical activity is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss. Conversely, a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference in women are each associated with a higher risk of hearing loss.
- Hearing loss may put you at greater risk of falling.
A Johns Hopkins study showed that people in middle age (40 to 69) with mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling.
- Hospitalization may be more likely for those with hearing loss.
A Johns Hopkins study showed that hospitalization is more likely for older adults with hearing loss.
Of note, many of these conditions are associated with untreated hearing loss. Helping people with untreated hearing loss is what we do every day. We’re never 100% certain what motivated people to start their journey toward better hearing, but hopefully, we just gave you a reason or two to begin your journey.