Hearing is a Cornerstone of Overall Health

Hearing is a Cornerstone of Overall Health

We All Know Aging When We See It, But What Is It?

Can you remember being 10 years old and how the 13 year old’s at the back of the bus looked indistinguishable from the adults? Many of us likely remember the shock of milestone birthdays, turning 18, 21, or 40 and the cognitive dissonance resolving how we actually felt compared to the expectations of how we assumed it must feel to reach this milestone age. All of us have likely met seniors who have the playful wonder of children and teenagers who seem to be in a constant rush to appear older than they are. 

We all age. We all talk about aging, both casually and with seriousness, assuming that we all know exactly what we are talking about. But what is it really? What is aging? What actually ages us? We all know it is directly related to time. But different people all experience it so differently. Why?

Researchers believe that there are four primary factors that determine our overall health, which in turn determines the manners and rates in which we experience aging. These factors are exercise, diet, sleep, and hearing, and all of them are relatively within our control, or at least within our own control enough that we can intentionally develop healthy habits that will help us have some say in how we experience aging. 

Normal aging means that your intelligence is stable, but your brain slows down. This means that you become a little less mentally flexible. Processing times increase. Motor skills, sensory, and cognitive abilities decline a little. And these changes all occur thanks to the inevitable loss of cerebral white matter tissue that comes with time. 

Everyone Knows about Exercise, Diet, and Sleep

When asked about the cornerstones of overall health, most people are likely to name diet, exercise, and sleep. Whatever degree that people choose not to adopt healthy habits in these regards, it is not due to ignorance of how important they are. Everyone knows this stuff.

Studies prove that people who exercise at least three times per week were 32% less likely to suffer from dementia. Aerobic exercise boosts episodic memory, attention, processing speed, and executive functioning in older people. And whether it is quick moments of intense exercise or sustained periods of milder exercise, the benefits on cognitive performance and memory have been proven beyond a doubt. 

Similarly, most people have no trouble recognizing the immediate benefits of a healthy diet on their energy and physical comfort. So it should follow simple logic that making a habit of eating a healthy diet would increase their overall sense of well-being, which would consequently have a positive impact on how they age. Prioritizing fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts, and low amounts of red or processed meats, has been proven to improve cognitive functioning and slow cognitive decline. 

Finally, more than half of all seniors suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep disordered breath. Sleep deprivation for any reason causes an increase in your body’s production of amyloid beta, the amino acid found on the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Alternately, healthy, slow wave sleep clears these same amino acids from the brain. 

Your Overall Health Depends on Your Hearing Health

More than half of everyone in the U.S. 75 years old and older lives with some detectable degree of disabling hearing loss. This hearing loss poses not only a risk to one’s physical safety by reducing awareness of one’s surroundings, but it also compromises the foundation of how we each maintain our balance. Without appropriate treatment, the further consequences of hearing loss also compound quickly, damaging relationships and provoking feelings of powerlessness and frustration. Such emotional damage directly impacts your psychological sense of well-being, triggering a powerful negative feedback loop.

Adding to the sad course of this degradation, our brains literally attempt to rewire the way they operate to try to compensate for the diminishing sense of hearing. Such an adjustment is not simple or comfortable. In fact, hearing loss often leads to brain atrophy and neurodegeneration. 

Do not hesitate to take control of your destiny. Make an appointment today for a hearing test. It is always the right time to intervene to maximize your quality of life.


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With so many myths and misinformation about hearing loss and hearing care, it’s often the unknowns or confusion that holds us back from making the right decisions.

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