I didn’t find out about reducing the risk of dementia OR that wearing hearing aids can slow the rate of your hearing loss until three years after I first had measurable loss. Anyone who thinks they might have hearing loss should certainly look into that possibility and DO SOMETHING without delay.
Why? Not only for those two reasons but because hearing is different from eyesight. Glasses can often improve your vision to the point where you see well. Hearing aids make sounds around you louder but do NOT bring back the quality of your hearing from before the loss. To be personal, I grieve when listening to fine music knowing that it used to hear so much better to me.
Please consider getting your hearing tested in the same way that you get your vision or teeth checked. It’s just as essential. Now I’ll step back and let you move to the article.
The best way to lower your dementia risk
Hearing loss is a major risk factor for dementia. The simple solution for many people is a hearing aid.
October 20, 2022 at 7:32 p.m. EDT
There are many good reasons to take care of your hearing — from the sound of birds chirping to being able to carry on a conversation in a restaurant.
But the best reason to take care of your hearing is to take care of your brain. Hearing loss in middle age — ages 45 to 65 — is the most significant risk factor for dementia, accounting for more than 8 percent of all dementia cases, Richard Sima reports in this week’s Brain Matters column.
The simple solution for many people is a hearing aid. And yet, a large number of people resist getting them. For some, the reluctance to get a hearing aid is about stigma and not wanting to look old. Others may not be aware they have hearing loss. For many, the obstacle is cost.
Help is on the way. A new federal rule that went into effect this week allows hearing aids for adults with low to moderate hearing loss to be sold over the counter, without a prescription or hearing test. The hope is that the new rule will spur more competition in the hearing aid industry, drive innovation and bring prices down.
“It’s going to be the wild, wild West for a few years, but I mean that in a good way,” Frank Lin, director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “There is so much market opportunity here. It’s never been done this way.”
To help you shop for a hearing aid, Amanda Morris, our disability reporter, has created a guide with tips on the features to look for and the different styles available. Amanda has worn a hearing aid since she was an infant, and her expertise can help you navigate the sometimes daunting world of hearing aids.
Don’t be intimidated. A good rule of thumb is that if you have the technical expertise to figure out an update to your phone’s software settings, then you are tech-savvy enough to manage a self-fitting hearing aid.
You can hear more from Amanda about the new hearing aid rule on Post Reports’ “Making hearing more accessible.” And for more information, check out these stories.