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Bad hearing could lead to issues like memory problems and heart disease, new research has discovered. We often take good hearing for granted and just accept that, like our eyesight, it fades over time. However, new studies suggest hearing loss can be linked to major health issues like memory problems and heart disease, so it might be time to listen up and get serious about your ears. Whether it’s the result of too many rock concerts in our youth, genetics or the constant buzz of everyday life, we’re all susceptible to hearing loss. The trick is catching it early and doing something about it. Robert Beiny, the UK and European Audiologist of the Year and Director of the Hearing Healthcare Practice in Hertfordshire, UK, is among the hearing specialists urging people to take their aural health more seriously. “What’s hearing got to with it?” he muses to Cover Media. “Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. It takes more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away. Fitness, exercise and diet all play a part – as does hearing well. “Changes in hearing occur so slowly that we fail to notice subtle changes in how we enjoy company and interact with workmates. Evidence links these changes with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and memory loss. Our character alters and we can suffer increased anxiety, social isolation, depression and insecurity.” There are also huge benefits, personally and professionally, in taking care of your hearing. Robert notes that with improving our listening, other aspects such as family relationships and mental health are also boosted. “With research now confirming people who hear well earn higher salaries and have better employment opportunities, it makes sense to your general well-being to keep your hearing in tune,” he adds. So maybe it’s time to track down a local audiologist and undergo a hearing test just to make sure you’re A-OK. As the expert says: “Add hearing to your general health check list along with eye exams, visits to your dentist and routine check-ups with your GP.” And don’t fret about the future if hearing loss already is a problem; technology will be your friend. The days of ugly hearing aids and ear antennas are long gone and those contraptions your grandfather once stuck behind his ear are old school. The help available these days is subtle and largely invisible. Call Elgin Audiology today to book your hearing test! © Cover Media Group 2015
Hearing loss is undertreated among adults, despite evidence that hearing aid technology can reduce depression and anxiety and improve cognitive functioning, according to a presentation at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention. “Many hard of hearing people battle silently with their invisible hearing difficulties, straining to stay connected to the world around them, reluctant to seek help,” David Myers, PhD, of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, said in a press release. David Myers A study from the National Council on Aging with a cohort of 2,304 individuals with hearing loss found that participants who did not use hearing aids were 50% more likely to experience sadness or depression than participants who did wear them. Additionally, individuals who used hearing aids were significantly more likely to regularly participate in social activities. Another study, published in the Archives of Neurology, found that hearing loss may be a risk factor for dementia. Years of sensory loss may increase susceptibility to dementia, according to the study’s researchers. Further, social isolation, which is common among individuals with hearing loss, is a known risk factor for dementia and other cognitive disorders, Myers said. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, individuals with hearing loss wait an average of 6 years from the first symptoms of hearing loss before seeking treatment, and adults aged 20 to 69 years who have hearing loss are 50% less likely to use hearing aids compared with adults aged 70 years or older. In addition to denial, vanity and less awareness of how much they are missing are reasons for this delay, according to Myers, who has hearing loss. “Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard of hearing,” according to Myers. “Getting people to use the latest in hearing aid technology can help them regain control of their life, and achieve emotional stability and even better cognitive functioning.” Reference: Myers D. A quiet world: the psychology of hearing and hearing loss. Presented at: American Psychological Association Annual Convention; Aug. 6-11, 2015; Toronto.
They can be invisible now. Many new hearing aids sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal, providing both natural sound quality and ease of use. They automatically adjust to all kinds of soundscapes. Technological advances with directional microphones have made hearing aids more versatile than ever before in a broad range of sound environments. You can enjoy water sports and sweat while wearing them. Waterproof digital hearing aids have arrived. This feature is built into some new hearing aids for those concerned about water, humidity and dust. This feature suits the active lifestyles of swimmers, skiers, snowboarders, intensive sports enthusiasts and anyone working in dusty, demanding environments. They work with smartphones, home entertainment systems and other electronics. Wireless, digital hearing aids…