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Tackling Hearing Loss Head On

by April Maguire

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

There's not denying the fact that we lose our hearing as we age. Over time, the small hair-like cells in the inner ear that absorb sounds breakdown, leading to a diminished ability to take in auditory information. As a result, recent studies indicate that more than a third of Americans between the ages of 64 and 75 suffer from a significant degree of hearing loss. For people over the age of 75, that number jumps to more than 50%, and as Baby Boomers continue to climb in age, experts around the country are warning that there could be an epidemic of hearing loss in the coming years.

Socially and Mentally

On one hand, the immediate effects of hearing loss are self-evident. Losing the ability to fully interact with the world around you makes it difficult to follow conversations in public and enjoy social gatherings. As these frustrations mount, many hearing loss sufferers withdraw from the world, preferring social isolation over the strain of public gatherings.

Unfortunately, however, hearing loss doesn't just affect one's social life. To date, several studies have found a strong correlation between hearing loss and mental decline. Since cognitive impairment is already a concern for older age groups, the fact that hearing loss can be a compounding factor is alarming. While researchers still aren't entirely sure how hearing loss and cognitive impairment are related, the general belief is that less auditory stimuli corresponds with less overall brain function, resulting in a kind of atrophy that can lead to memory loss and dementia.

Correcting Hearing Loss

For hearing loss sufferers, early intervention is key. The good news is that modern hearing aids are better than ever before. They don't just amplify noises. Instead, they digitally manipulate auditory information, clarifying sounds and making them easier for the brain to understand. These devices aren't a perfect, but they are superior to their predecessors and they can help sufferers retain their natural hearing ability.

The bad news, however, is that these devices come with a hefty price tag. At present, medical insurance plans, including Medicare, don't cover the cost of hearing aids. On average, a single device can cost nearly $2,500, which means you'll have to shell out almost $5,000 for a pair. Fortunately, there are low-cost models, which aren't as dynamic as the high-end options, but they can still dramatically improve hearing ability.

Whichever method you use, if you have hearing loss then it's important that you tackle the problem head off. The longer hearing loss is allowed to go untreated, the more severe social and cognitive issues will become. So if you're dealing with hearing loss, consult with an audiologist and start managing your hearing loss as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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