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Why I Needed Hearing Aids Before Age 50—And You Might Too

hearing loss

It started slowly

Hearing loss sneaked up on me gradually—I missed bits of conversations here and there, mostly in noisy restaurants, until suddenly I found myself smiling and nodding at punch lines I hadn’t heard and wishing I knew what the heck was going on. That was back in my thirties. A decade later, my family was fed up. “You need me to swab the deck?” “No, I need you to sign a check!” “You fogged up scrunch socks?” “No, I forgot a lunch box.”

I’m far from alone. There’s evidence that hearing loss is on the rise and is striking people at younger ages. “There’s a genetic susceptibility for some people,” explains Laurel A. Christensen, PhD, Chief Audiology Officer for GN Hearing, the maker of Resound Hearing Aids, which I’m now wearing, “but it’s being exacerbated by all the noise in modern life.”

Unfortunately, hearing loss comes with significant health risks. A 2019 study published in the journal Geriatrics & Gerontology International found that among seniors 65 and over, hearing loss can cause anxiety and withdrawal from activities and eventually lead to cognitive decline and dementia. There’s also a higher incidence of depression and even falling—because the auditory system and the balance system are connected, Dr. Christensen explains. That’s pretty scary, but there’s good news: People who wear hearing aids for age-related hearing problems have better brain function over time than those who don’t, according to a 2019 study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in July.

Here’s what you need to know about the epidemic of hearing loss and how to help stave off the memory loss that often comes with it.

The post Why I Needed Hearing Aids Before Age 50—And You Might Too appeared first on Best Health Magazine Canada.

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