Hearing loss and dementia

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Recent research shows the risks of dementia are lower for hearing aid users.

By Amanda Barbur, Doctor of Audiology; Amanda’s Family Hearing

Hearing is an important part of life and there are many risks of untreated hearing loss, including social isolation, depression, job-related issues, relationship struggles, imbalance, and now even earlier onset dementia. However, recent research shows the risks of dementia are lower for hearing aid users.

It is never too early to get a hearing test, but you should get checked at least by 45 years of age. Hearing loss often occurs gradually and may go unnoticed for years. It is not uncommon for my first-time hearing aid users to be surprised at how much they have been missing once they hear it again.

People with associated comorbidities and other risk factors are more at risk for hearing loss. These include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, dizziness or balance issues, loud noise exposure, tinnitus and smoking.

Hearing loss can be frustrating and downright exhausting due to a condition known as auditory fatigue. When you can’t hear everything, your brain has to first work to fill in the pieces of conversation it missed. Only after that can it then process and comprehend what was said. It’s like the brain is working overtime. This is often why people with hearing loss socially withdraw, because it’s just too tiring to go out and socialize.

I love when my patients tell me how happy they are after they’ve decided to seek professional help and are fit with hearing aids. I’ve never had a patient say they regret making the step toward better hearing, and in turn a better quality of life. So don’t wait and come hear with us.

Amanda’s Family Hearing is located at 1701 Mentor Avenue, Suite 5, in Painesville. Financing options are available. Call 440-357-4327 or visit AmandasFamilyHearing.com for more information.