Age related hearing loss has recently been linked to an increase of health risks including dementia, depression, falls and cardiovascular disease. According to a NY Times article published in December, two new studies show that uncorrected hearing loss appears to be the cause of these health problems in a significant number of people.
The article states that researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that untreated hearing loss increased the risk of developing dementia by 50 percent and depression by 40 percent in just five years when compared to those without hearing loss.
Long and short term issues with memory, cognition and balance are also commonly associated with untreated hearing loss in seniors.
photo credit: Gretchen Yengst
According to David Olgivy, the The Greens’ on-site audiologist and owner of AA Hearing Aid Center in Stamford, seniors who suffer from even a mild hearing loss are three times more likely to experience a fall.
“The overall affects of an early diagnosis of hearing loss leads to better long term health,” say Olvigy.
These are the many reasons why The Greens at Cannondale makes hearing health a priority for its residents. Olgivy comes to The Greens’ the first Thursday of each month to provide hearing tests to new residents, replace batteries and make adjustments to resident’s hearing aids as needed.
“Hearing loss can go undetected because it typically happens gradually over the course of many years,” says Olgivy. “If the brain isn’t getting the proper stimulation it needs from hearing, it atrophies.”
According to the NY Times article, people who can’t hear well often become socially isolated and deprived of stimuli that keep the brain cognitively engaged. For new residents at The Greens, it’s important that their hearing is tested and corrected right away so they can make friends and connect with others and not be hindered by a hearing impairment.
According to The Green’s Senior Executive Director, Ron Bucci, “We are most fortunate to have local audiologist David Olgivy available to provide care on site at The Greens. We encourage our residents to take advantage of all of the preventative wellness services available here. Preventative care grounded in evidenced based medicine is the best way for our older adults to have the best quality of life possible.”