5 Things We Can Learn from Hearing Loss Research

In the audiology industry, there are certainly many research studies conducted and a lot of interesting points deduced from these studies. Hearing Health Matters recently ran a column on this topic.  Below is a summary of the 5 research outcomes discussed.

1. People with hearing loss, who don’t wear hearing aids, are more tired at night

tired_clockwork_manSurveys were conducted all over the World among people with significant hearing loss.  As many as 50% of non-hearing-aid users said they often felt mentally exhausted in the evenings, in comparison to 30% of people who wore hearing aids. 

I wonder if wearing a hearing aid would help me feel more refreshed in the evening, hearing loss or no hearing loss?

2. Stress makes exhausted women over-sensitive to sounds

As the article quite rightfully questions, is this hypersensitivity to soundsound all day or just in the evening? And are these study participants wearing hearing aids?

As a woman without hearing loss (well, that I know of), I can definitely confirm that the more stressed I feel, the more likely I am to react to my 5 year old’s incessant noise!

3. Red wine may protect against noise-induced hearing loss

wineA plant compound found in red grapes and red wine may guard against hearing loss and cognitive decline.

It’s  relief to know that when point #2 occurs and I reach for the wine bottle, I’m actually doing the right thing for my hearing 🙂

4. High blood pressure can lead to hearing loss

Actually, all of this can be prevented if you take #3 to heart. Drinking red wine is thought to reduce high blood pressure, which in turn can prevent hearing loss.

Nice! I’m in good shape on both fronts!

5. The chance of dementia is increased in people with hearing loss

One study reported that for every 10 decibels of hearing lost, the extra likelihood of developing dementia increased by up to 20%.

A good real life example of points #4 and #5 is my own grandmother, who has high blood pressure, is almost deaf and has significant dementia.  I would conclude that she just didn’t drink enough red wine throughout her life…..

The Hearing Health Matters column concludes with this summary:
“Let’s say we have a woman, late-50′ish, severe-to-profound hearing loss who wears her hearing aids all the time, keeps the grey matter bubbling with activity, drinks fake wine for brekkie and a smooth cab-sauv for din-dins, checks her blood pressure regularly, and works hard to reduce stress in her life.”

The outcome?  “A healthy, physically fit and mentally agile woman who knows how to live successfully with hearing loss.”

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