Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Impairments in Hearing and Vision Impact on Mortality in Older People"

This study was just published in the Oxford Journals (you can read the study from this link Oxford Journals - Hearing Impairment ).  What the study boiled down to was that "older men with Hearing Impairment were at a greater risk of dying from any cause and particularly cardiovascular causes by a factor of 25.4% over the average normal hearing male adult when followed up over a five-year period.  The question I have about this is how many if any had been treated with hearing aids and if the hearing aid wearers had shown any reduction from the non-wearer.  As we learn more and more about the "side" effects of hearing loss on individuals, mortality, earlier unset of Alzheimer, loss of grey matter density in the Auditory Cortex, and Brain Plasticity we have to wonder, those of in the hearing profession, if we are waiting too long to get amplification on individuals or are keeping the amplification current to meet their needs.   It seems the studies are show that the risks of waiting or not thinking how important our hearing is too our overall wellbeing.  In the past we have always thought of just the loss of word recognition was effected by holding off getting amplification and now the studies are starting to show a whole new realm of side effects we had no idea of that seem to have big side effects, not just to our lifestyle, but to our overall wellbeing and longevity.  Something to think about during the decision process as we move towards accepting amplification as a good and viable option.  Yes, good hearing aids are expensive but if they can help slow down or offset the side effects of a hearing impairment then that really lowers the cost of ownership I would think.

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