Good Living Jan. 2014

Studies show hearing decline is a serious health risk

By From page GLV11 | January 22, 2014

Hearing decline not only impacts a person’s quality of life but if left untreated, it can affect mental and physical wellbeing, too.

Depression, anxiety, isolation, frustration, anger, paranoia, poor relationships and decreased earning potential can all result from untreated hearing loss.

In addition, a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a link between falls and hearing loss: those with mild hearing loss are three times more likely to fall and for every 10 decibel decrease in hearing, the odds increase 1.4-fold.

Falling is a serious health risk; hip fracture patients have a well-documented high mortality rate and the fear of falling alone can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and associated health complications.

The study, performed at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, targeted a group ranging in age from 40 to 69. Researchers theorize that decreased hearing interferes with an awareness of the environment and surroundings, leading to a better chance of tripping and falling.

Another explanation involves cognitive overload — trying to process information with poor hearing places great demands on the brain, taking the focus away from maintaining balance and gait.

To reduce the risk of falling, audiologist Mark Payne, AUD, CCC-A of Marshall ENT and Hearing recommends you, “exercise regularly, review your medications with your doctor, have your vision checked regularly and have your hearing checked by an audiologist.”

For more information call Marshall ENT and Hearing at 530-344-2010 or visit

Marshall Medical

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