Age-Related Hearing Loss & Cognitive Decline

“Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is the loss of hearing that gradually occurs in most of us as we grow older. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults” (NIH). In the United States, one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 years are affected. In people 75 years and older, that ratio jumps to 50 percent of people who struggle with difficulty hearing. While there is currently no cure for hearing loss, there are ways to treat and address sound voids with devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices.

Untreated hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline, including diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, as well as decreased memory, problem-solving, and attention abilities. Why? Because, “In those with hearing loss, the compensatory adaptation system significantly reduces the brain’s ability to process sound, which in turn affects a person’s ability to understand speech. And even with mild hearing loss, the hearing areas of the brain become weaker. What happens next is that the areas of the brain that are necessary for higher level thinking compensate for the weaker areas. They step in and essentially take over for hearing, leaving them unavailable to do their primary job” (Healthy Hearing).

Those with hearing loss tend to isolate themselves because they cannot keep up with the conversations around them. Isolation leads to weaker comprehension — and ultimately, feelings of depression and frustration.

It’s time to take back control of your hearing, and take back control of your life. The good news is that treating hearing loss reduces the risk of cognitive decline. And beyond that, it will improve your overall quality of life.

Kubick and Kubick Inc. has been serving Millburn, NJ and the surrounding community for over 75 years. In that time, we have seen countless of people’s lives transformed through better hearing.

– Written By Janna Palmer