By: Dr. Dana Luzon, Au.D., FAAA
Board Certified in Audiology
People who choose to seek treatment for hearing loss will be happy to know that they have also reduced their risk of serious cognitive disease. According to recent research by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, depending upon the severity, people with untreated hearing loss may face a 36% increase in the risk of dementia, cognitive impairment and other cognitive diseases. These findings appear to reinforce the results of another recent study of 2,000 adults in which individuals with mild to moderately severe hearing loss were found to be 24% more likely than those with normal hearing to see their cognitive function diminish early.
“As audiologists, we are concerned about the possibility that the hearing loss we are treating, in some instances, might be a leading indicator for other health concerns,” says Dr. Dana Luzon. “We know that some individuals become increasingly isolated when hearing loss becomes a problem, and that’s another risk factor involved with dementia and other cognitive diseases. The great part about this discovery is that more people are getting their hearing checked at younger ages and finding out that the solutions for hearing loss are simpler than they may have first thought, and that actions can be taken that yield positive results.”
According to the Johns Hopkins study, those with a hearing loss greater than 25 decibels are most at risk. The potential for cognitive decline increases with greater levels of hearing loss. Audiology & Hearing Aids of the Palm Beaches encourages people as young as 45 to have a baseline hearing exam every year. If we think of the ears like a muscle, when you have hearing loss, you are not using the muscles to their full potential. When you have hearing loss and use hearing aids, you keep those ears working and active. By keeping the ears active and stimulated with sound, we help to keep the brain active.
“What we’re seeing as the science of hearing loss continues to expand is a leap in the number of people who are excited about the possibility of better hearing health,” says Dr. Luzon. So far, the evidence seems to suggest that better hearing helps keep the brain sharp, and as more people seek better-hearing solutions, we end up with a mentally sharper, healthier population as a whole. Don’t wait to get a baseline hearing test, call today to schedule an exam to make better hearing a part of your overall health and wellness plan.
Au. D. , FAA, Doctor of Audiology
Originally from Southern NJ, Dana Luzon received her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the Richard Stockton College of NJ, and continued on to receive her Doctorate of Audiology at Salus University’s residential program. Her varied clinical experiences throughout her doctoral studies include: VA hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, ENT and private practice settings. Her professional interests include: audiologic rehabilitation and progressive tinnitus devices. Her interests in the field outside of the clinic include: Humanitarian Audiology, and Audiology Awareness. Dr. Luzon currently lives in West Palm Beach, FL.
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