If you're in your senior years, it's more important than ever that you get regular hearing tests. Here are three reasons you need to keep your hearing at its best as you age.
Healthy Hearing Keeps Your Social Life Active
As you grow older, it can be harder to keep your social life active. However, it's very important that you stay in contact with friends and family in your senior years. Maintaining relationships is key to keeping up your mental wellbeing and engaging your mind. Research has even found that social interaction can potentially reduce the risk of health problems like arthritis and cancer in seniors. Of course, to stay social, you'll need to have healthy hearing. Without it, you won't be able to participate in conversations, leading you to become more isolated and withdrawn. Keeping your hearing at its best will ensure that you won't have any trouble interacting with people no matter how old you are.
Healthy Hearing Reduces Your Risk of Injury
One of the worst effects of aging is that it puts your body at greater risk of injury. According to one government report, around 126,000 of senior Australians were hospitalised for an injury over a single year. 77% of these injuries were falls. There are many factors that increase the risk of falling in old age, and one of the biggest is hearing loss. Even mild hearing loss makes you three times more likely to suffer a fall, and the risk increases drastically for moderate and severe hearing loss. That's because hearing loss affects balance and makes you less aware of your environment, decreasing your spacial awareness. On top of that, the more brainpower you're using to hear, the less your body can use to keep you stable and upright. Ensuring you can hear clearly in your later years will go a long way in keeping you safe from falls and other injuries.
Healthy Hearing Keeps Dementia at Bay
Dementia is one of the most serious and rapidly growing problems affecting the older population. It afflicts over 35 million people worldwide, and that rate is expected to grow to 115 million by 2050. Scientists are still trying to figure out all the causes of dementia so they can target and reduce it. One factor they've already homed in on is hearing, which can increase the risk of dementia in many ways. For one, the increased "cognitive load" you face when straining to hear can put undue stress on your brain. On top of that, brain cells can shrink when they lack stimulation, causing the hearing centre of the brain to lose grey matter when you have hearing loss. Social isolation is also a factor, with those who socialise less being more likely to suffer cognitive decline. All in all, keeping your hearing healthy is one good way to reduce your risk of developing dementia.
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