Waiting to get hearing aids can hurt your hearing heath; How even a mild hearing loss can increase progression of dementia, difficulty in speech understanding, and social isolation

By: Kelly Warf, Au.D.

While the word “mild” may not bear much weight, that isn’t the case when it comes to a mild hearing loss. It may not feel like you are missing the conversation, however, your eyes and brain are working harder to compensate for your hearing loss.

“I know I have a little hearing loss, but do I really need hearing aids?” This is often the first question following a hearing loss diagnosis. The answer: YES. Hearing loss progresses slowly over time thus its impact may not be evident until later. But the addition of hearing aids from the beginning of onset improves the transition to hearing aids, speech understanding abilities, and social isolation, all while slowing the progression of dementia. Not only do hearing aids help you hear better it also takes the cognitive load off your brain.

A study by Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., from John Hopkins University tracked participants with hearing loss for nearly 12 years; compared to normal hearing individuals, those with a mild hearing loss were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to normal hearing individuals. Even a mild hearing loss has implications on a persons daily abilities and quality of life.

Treating a mild hearing loss today can lead to better health in the future. Learn more about your options for treating hearing loss by scheduling an appointment with our Audiologists at 847-685-1000.

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