Offered by: John Wilson, B.S., BC-HIS, Blue Ribbon Hearing & Tinnitus Center
Regularly, I am asked: “When is it time to get hearing aids?” Given my experience and multiple recent medical studies, my answer is, “As soon as you are diagnosed with hearing loss.” Why? In part, because multiple studies, including ones from Johns Hopkins University and University of Colorado, have been published regarding the correlation of hearing loss to other serious health problems.
These studies show multiple health related issues, including an increased likelihood of developing dementia (including Alzheimer’s Disease) for those with hearing loss; increased brain shrinkage at a faster rate for those with hearing loss compared to those with normal hearing; and brain reorganization even in individuals with mild hearing loss. Also, compared to people with normal hearing, individuals with hearing loss are more likely to get injured from falling, be hospitalized, suffer from poor physical health, and have more mental health problems.
Dr. Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University said, “If you want to address hearing loss well, you want to do it sooner rather than later. If hearing loss is potentially contributing to these differences we’re seeing on MRI, you want to treat it before these brain structural changes take place.”** In my experience, individuals who start wearing hearing aids sooner rather than later adjust more quickly; understand speech better, especially in noise; and maintain a higher quality of life than those who wait.
**For more information on the studies mentioned and citations, go to www.blueribbonhearing.com/educational-resources
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