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Hearing Loss Growing Among Seniors

From a certain age, we all begin to lose hearing. Of course, the loss is not homogeneous; some people start before others. The development of hearing loss is also different. It varies among individuals. But it can also bring on other problems. When it comes to hearing loss Layton UT audiologists say this can also be directly related to physical and mental decline.

Losing hearing means losing contact with the world around us. When it becomes frustrating to follow a conversation, there are those who choose to stop connecting with other people and end up isolating themselves from their communities. But many studies show that social isolation is directly related to the physical and cognitive decline of the elderly with hearing loss. In fact, according to a study by Johns Hopkins Hospital, people with untreated hearing loss were 32 percent more likely to be hospitalized, and 57 percent were prone to suffer serious episodes of stress and depression.

Cognitive Impairment

A French study, a several American clinical studies have concluded that people over the age of 65, with hearing loss experience accelerated cognitive impairment. The study indicates that the psychological and social consequences of suffering a hearing loss can cause this cognitive deterioration. Improving hearing ability through the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants reduces the negative mental impact, and will stimulate cognitive skills, slowing any cognitive decline.

According to the American Academy of Neurology, people experiencing peripheral hearing loss were not more likely to suffer mild cognitive impairment than people without hearing problems. Peripheral hearing loss is caused by problems in how the inner ear and auditory nerves work. Central hearing loss is more age-related, caused by problems in the brain’s ability to process sound.

Hearing Loss Because Of Presbycusis

Presbycusis is an auditory pathology and the progressive loss of hearing associated with aging. It in itself isn’t a disease. This deterioration affects the perception of high tones and may be due to changes in the ear and nerve pathways that communicate with our brain, all produced by aging.

It is estimated that around one third of those over 60 years of age present some degree of presbycusis, increasing considerably with age. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of those over 75 suffer from this type of deafness, and experts are concerned with the growing population of baby boomers, will half of them suffer from hearing loss.

By 2025, The World Health Organization predicts about 500 million people in the world with experience presbycusis. Unfortunately, there is no effective drug treatment for this problem, and it cannot be prevented in most cases. Doctors have found not treatment that allows to regenerate the aged structures of the ear or of the brain areas affected in the process. Some vasodilator and antiaggregant drugs can be used to improve blood flow in some areas of the ear or cerebral cortex, and in some cases can improve symptoms such as tinnitus. Hearing aids are the best device that can prevent the isolation of elderly patients with presbycusis. For this to work, it is also necessary that the elderly recognize the problem, get properly evaluated by an audiologist, and adapt to this device.