The Hidden Cost of Untreated Hearing Loss
The Canadian HARD of HEARING Association (CHHA-Hamilton Branch) enjoyed a very informative presentation from the Chief Audiologist, Jillian Price of ListenUP. Did you know that 1 out of every 5 people have some form of hearing loss? 47% of Canadians over age 60 have hearing loss. So many people are in denial. They won’t admit it, but experience difficulties hearing, asking folks to repeat . . . because they claim people are mumbling. Higher rates of depression are reported in those with untreated hearing loss. In fact, in a recent study it was found rates of depression are more than double in those with hearing loss compared to those with normal hearing.
Researchers studying neuroplasticity found that when hearing loss is present, the “hearing areas of the brain shrink in age-related hearing loss” and the brain then recruits areas of the brain typically used for higher decision-making functions just to hear sounds. This form of compensation increases the overall load on the brain and may contribute to cognitive decline. Untreated hearing loss has serious negative effects that go far beyond the inability to hear. BUT there is good news, too. To protect ourselves, early detection is key and could prevent long-term cognitive issues down the road. IF you do require hearing aids, there is government funding of $500 per ear approximately every 5 years. You are welcome to join CHHA and attend our meetings and/or lip/speech reading classes for up-to-date information. Being able to talk to others with similar problems is the first step in reconnecting to your world! All are welcome. www.chha-hamilton.ca firstname.lastname@example.org