It can take a long time between somebody developing a hearing problem and actually getting it checked. Some sufferers will hold out for years before seeing a doctor. Some will never make that step at all.
But the long-term consequences of delaying or avoiding it can be enormous – and not just for hearing health.
Multiple studies have shown that an untreated problem can have a severe and lasting impact on brain health.
Under normal circumstances, the human mind has the remarkable gift of neuroplasticity – the ability to adapt itself to change. When a sense such as sight is altered, the brain can effectively restructure itself to function in a new way.
When it comes to untreated hearing loss, however, a University of Pennsylvania study reveals something more worrying: even with mild hearing decline, the parts of the brain that comprehend speech will begin to waste away, making communication even harder.
Early intervention is the key. The sooner a hearing problem can be addressed, the better the brain’s neuroplasticity can be harnessed to keep hearing and comprehension skill strong.
The communication difficulties of hearing loss can create all sorts of social challenges, potentially leading to depression, anxiety, paranoia and fatigue. Isolation can soon begin to feel like a more appealing option than miscommunication.
This lack of basic social fulfilment can, in turn, put the brain at increased risk of cognitive decline – even diseases such as dementia.
Thankfully, for many people, intervention can be a relatively quick and unobtrusive process. According to one recent major study, hearing devices could effectively cancel out the risk of cognitive decline.
Researchers found that those with untreated hearing problems were more likely to suffer from accelerated cognitive decline. However, those who wore hearing devices fared far better – and in many cases, just as well as those with no hearing problems at all.
This suggests that hearing devices can be enough to avoid the isolation and communication problems associated that ultimately put the brain at risk. It’s a startling wake-up call to anybody on the fence about getting their hearing checked.
If you have any concerns about your hearing, don’t wait for it to get worse. Early action today could have a profound impact on your future health and happiness.
Follow the link below to book a quick, no-obligation check-up – and go in the draw to win one of 20 Apple Watches!
This post is sponsored by AudioClinic. It was written as we feel it brings valuable insights into a subject important to the Starts at 60 community. For more information, please visit the, AudioClinic website.
*Free hearing check-up is available to persons aged 26 years or older.