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It’s better to treat hearing loss sooner
Posted by Susan Brown Good, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology on July 15, 2022
A few years back, a New York Times article pleaded that the treatment of hearing loss needs “to be taken much more seriously.”
Much of the article’s basis for that plea were the numerous mental and physical health consequences of letting hearing loss go untreated, including increased odds of depression, falling, emergency room visits, and, of course, dementia. All are correlations that have been studied broadly and that we dig into regularly in this blog.
For the article, the author, Jane Brody, talked to Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Lin is one of the world’s leading hearing loss researchers. His team is particularly interested in studying how hearing loss impacts our brains as we age.
Based on his extensive research, Dr. Lin recommends people treat hearing loss sooner rather than later, telling Brody that the longer we wait, the harder hearing loss is to treat. That’s because it takes time to adjust to hearing aids. “The brain needs time,” he notes, “And the earlier hearing loss is treated, the easier it is for the brain to adapt.”
Between his recommendation and The Lancet Commission’s study noting that treating hearing loss in mid-life (ages 40-64) is the single biggest risk factor of 12 that you can modify to help prevent dementia, you’d be wise to look into treatment now if you’re experiencing hearing loss and are worried about your cognitive health as you age.
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