As we age, our hearing just isn’t what it used to be.
HALF of folks over 65 have some degree of hearing loss — and we know that there’s much more at stake than just your ability to enjoy a TV program or some small talk.
That’s because when your hearing fades, key regions of your brain aren’t as stimulated, putting you at a higher risk of dementia.
But according to a new study, you can protect what’s between your ears with something you wear INSIDE of your ears.
I’m talking about hearing aids!
These trusty devices don’t just help you hear the TV without the volume turned all the way up. They also perk up your brain… shield your precious memories… and may even help keep you out of the hospital.
In the study out of the UK, researchers gave memory tests to over 2,000 older adults every two years over the course of nearly two decades.
None of the participants wore hearing aids when the study began, but a portion of them started using hearing aids for the first time while the study was underway.
By the end of the study, those who’d adopted hearing aids wound up with BETTER memory scores than those who hadn’t.
Now, we know from previous studies that hearing loss can actually cause the areas of your brain that process memory to SHRINK ! So, the theory is that the richer sound environment you experience with hearing aids actually beefs up your gray matter.
And when you hear better, you’re also more likely to carry on with your normal social life, which staves off cognitive decline, too.
What’s more, better hearing keeps you more aware of what’s going on around you — and more able to avoid any hazards while walking or driving.
And that may be why another new study out of the University of Michigan found that older folks with hearing loss who wear hearing aids are less likely to wind up in the emergency room or with a hospital stay than those who don’t.
Even when the folks with hearing aids did land in the hospital, their stays were half a day shorter than those without them, which suggests that they were in for less serious problems.
Now, since health insurance rarely covers hearing aids, they can be expensive to obtain, but they’re a heck of a lot cheaper than racking up costly hospital bills.
And your precious memories are priceless!
So, if you’ve got hearing loss, think of hearing aids as “must-have” accessories.
And to protect the hearing you’ve got left, wear earplugs in noisy settings… get your ears checked by a doc to rule out any infections…. and avoid pain meds like Tylenol and Advil , which have been linked to hearing loss.