During the last year or two, as we’ve gone into and out of “hunker down” mode during the coronavirus waves, there are a lot of things people have put off.
Everything from shoe shopping to haircuts to dental cleanings has been skipped. Heck, my own hair has gotten so long at this point I’m starting to look like Cousin Itt from the Addams Family.
But if you haven’t had your hearing checked in a while, this is your wake-up call to remedy that. It’s time to put your ear to the phone and make that appointment.
Because new research finds that far too many seniors are skipping those tests. And that could lead to more than just problems hearing the TV, making phone calls, or talking to your loved ones.
Hearing loss could set the stage for some pretty scary health conditions. It may even increase your odds of an early DEATH, believe it or not.
But you can turn all of those risks around once you know what to look for.
The TRUE toll of hearing loss
We all know someone with a degree of hearing loss.
You start to speak louder when you’re with them just out of habit. And you know the TV will be at deafening levels when you come over for a visit.
You see, we’re great at spotting hearing loss in other people. But we’re not so good at spotting it in ourselves. And we don’t always realize it when we’re the ones cranking up the TV.
That’s why hearing checks are so vital, even if you don’t think there’s a problem. Yet a new poll shows most folks aren’t getting them.
Some 80 percent of people past the age of 50 haven’t had a hearing exam in the past two years. Even worse, their doctors haven’t even mentioned it.
That’s a major mistake because hearing loss has been linked to other serious problems, including:
- social withdrawal
- falls and injuries from falls
- heart disease
- lower quality of life
Plus, past research has linked it to overall physical decline (you’ll find more on that connection here.)
And the list goes on. Making it clear that a hearing problem isn’t ever JUST a hearing problem alone.
Dodge increased dementia and death risk
But it gets worse. One study found hearing loss could potentially DOUBLE your risk of dementia.
It’s likely because your brain has a “use it or lose it” function. When you suffer from hearing loss, you stop using the parts needed to decode those sounds. As a result, those regions essentially begin to shut down.
And if all that’s not bad enough, another study found mild hearing loss could increase the odds of early death by 21 percent. While more severe hearing loss can increase that risk by 39 percent.
In other words, there’s a LOT on the line here. That’s why it’s critical you get your hearing checked regularly.
If you still have good hearing, there are some things you can do to keep it that way. One study out of Korea found vitamins A and C, as well as B vitamins, may help you do just that.
And other research has found regularly eating omega-3 fatty fish can cut the risk of age-related hearing loss by up to 42 percent.
But if you already have hearing loss, there’s no need to panic. Getting it corrected with a hearing aid can reverse most of the risks I touched on today. So don’t be too proud to wear one.
You’ll have a far easier time interacting with the world around you. Plus, when you’re finally able to turn down your TV, your neighbors might thank you, too.