Hearing loss and the use of hearing aids has received a lot of stigma over the years. New research shows mild hearing loss is associated with an increase risk in developing dementia.

A John Hopkins study showed older adults with some type of hearing loss were more likely to have problems remembering and thinking.

This six year study found cognitive development in older adults with hearing problems,

“Declined some 30 percent to 40 percent faster than in those whose hearing was normal. Levels of declining brain function were directly related to the amount of hearing loss, the researchers say. On average, older adults with hearing loss developed a significant impairment in their cognitive abilities 3.2 years sooner than those with normal hearing.”

Breaking the Stigma

There are over 50 million people in the United States with some type of hearing loss, its definitely not an isolated incident. This includes over half of our veterans returning from a foreign war and one out of every 5 teenagers!

“About 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids. Among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30 percent) has ever used them. Even fewer adults aged 20 to 69 (approximately 16 percent) who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them,” according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. 

How Can You Break the Hearing Loss Stigma?

Get your hearing tested and encourage your family and friends to have their’s tested. If you have some type of hearing loss, make sure it is treated. Wearing your hearing aids, if you have them. Protect your hearing by turning down the volume and wearing earplugs.

Hearing loss takes away your quality of life, causing depression, isolation and health problems. If you have any concerns about your hearing, contact the Orlando Ears, Nose, & Throat.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the family at Orlando Ears, Nose & Throat, encourages everyone to join us in learning more about breast cancer and support those who are suffering with the disease.

Though we have made great progress in early detection, cancer treatment and finding a cure, we still have a long way to go.

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