Seniors with untreated Hearing Loss face loneliness and isolation, according to an article on NPR.
As hearing declines, loneliness can intensify — and set off a cascade of detrimental health effects. Now considered as hazardous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, loneliness vastly raises the risks of depression, dementia and early death.
Yet the vast majority of people who suffer from hearing loss don’t know they have a problem — or don’t want to know. The changes happen gradually, and often earlier than expected.
There may be no easy fix for the loneliness epidemic plaguing the nation, but helping people cope with hearing loss could be one key to tackling this complex problem. Hearing loss affects 1 of every 5 people and is strongly linked to loneliness: Every decibel drop in perception in people under 70 increases the odds of becoming severely lonely by 7%, one Dutch study showed.
Loneliness is associated with high blood pressure, elevated stress hormones and weakened immune systems, research shows. These feelings of isolation also raise the risk of dementia by 40% and the odds of early death by 26%, according to recent studies.
Untreated hearing loss, meanwhile, increases the risk of dementia by 50%, depression by 40% and falls by 30% over a 10-year period, a study published last year in JAMA Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery concluded.
Read the full article: click here
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Susan E. Terry, Au.D., F-AAA, F-NAP
Doctor of Audiology
P.S. We are here to help if you have any questions about your hearing, feel free to give us a call at 727-323-2471