A Healthy Brain Starts with... Your Hearing!
Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States, with approximately 48 million Americans experiencing some degree of hearing impairment. That makes it even more common than cancer or diabetes. Contrary to popular belief, hearing loss isn’t just something that “old” people get. In fact 65 percent of people with hearing impairment are below the age of 65.
That’s because noise is one of the top causes of hearing loss, and the world around us is getting noisier. Rock concerts or stadium events may seem like obvious threats to our hearing, but the everyday sounds from heavy traffic, busy restaurants, or music with volume tuned up can be equally dangerous over time. As a result, hearing health has significantly decreased among a younger demographic, with 30 percent more teens experiencing impairments in the early 2000s when earbuds became popular, compared to teens in the 1980s and 1990s.
Why should we care about all of this? While hearing health may not receive as much attention as other chronic diseases, it is paramount to everyday health and wellness. Studies have suggested that hearing impairment is twice as common in individuals with diabetes and is also more prevalent in hypertension patients. People with hearing loss are also twice as likely to suffer depression. But hearing health has even more important ramification for our cognitive well-being.
A recent research study published in the revered medical journal LANCENT found that hearing loss was the top modifiable risk factor for dementia. Stated more simply, correcting hearing was the number one change people can make to decrease their risk of getting dementia.
Another research from John Hopkins indicated that majority of patients who were diagnosed with the Alzheimer disease, their primary problem was hearing loss.
If you want a healthy brain, check your hearing. Dr. Mimi’s clinic will provide a FREE hearing evaluation for all Rossmoor residents.
by Mimi T. Salamat, Ph.D., CCC-A, FAAA
Clinical Audiologist and Tinnitus Specialist
Walnut Creek, CA