Let’s be honest: There is a lot of noise out there not worth hearing. So sometimes “tuning out” can be a welcome break from the insanity.
But if you find yourself not listening because you’re having more and more trouble hearing, it can actually be the first sign of a very dangerous spiral.
Which came first…
Having to ask people to speak up or repeat themselves takes its toll. Before long, you just decide not to bother. However, over time, poor hearing can lead to social isolation. And that doesn’t just mean missing church or giving up a game of Bingo.
Mounting evidence shows that we should regard hearing loss as a serious red flag. Because that social isolation is just the first step.
Previously, we told you about research that linked hearing loss with an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And the more severe the hearing loss, the greater the risk.
Now, a second major study confirms the link.
It turns out, especially for people in their mid-70s, that difficulty hearing sounds under 25 decibels is linked with accelerated cognitive decline and impairment.
The first question I asked is: Chicken or egg?
Is hearing loss a sign something is wrong? Or does it actually lead to dementia?
Based on these studies, it seems it’s the latter. Shutting down because you’re having trouble hearing has a snowball effect and can lead to cognitive decline.
So it’s important not to dismiss hearing problems as a nuisance. And even more important not to let yourself fall into a pattern of sitting at home on your own with the TV turned up.
The good news is that hearing problems can be a sign of something as simple as a vitamin deficiency – especially folate, vitamin B-12, and zinc.
So before you resign yourself to “shut in” status, grab a good B-complex and some zinc – and spend some time with someone worth listening to.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults” JAMA Internal Medicine, Vol. 173, No. 4, 2/25/13, archinte.jamanetwork.com
“Hearing Loss Accelerates Brain Function Decline in Older Adults” Johns Hopkins Medicine press release, 1/17/13, newswise.com
“Diclofenac Used and Recommended Globally, Despite Cardiovascular Risks” Science Daily, 2/12/13, sciencedaily.com