BY DR MEHMET OZ AND DR MIKE ROIZEN
FEBRUARY 26 , 2015
Can’t hear the TV, a quiet conversation or your best friend on the phone? You’re not alone. Up to 52% of adults over the age of 50 may have hearing loss – half of it severe enough to interfere with everyday life. And the long-term complexities of hearing loss are far-reaching: new reports show that it triples the risk for dementia. That’s because not hearing what others say can cut you off from the world and deprive you of stimulation.
That’s bad news for your mood and your mind. Isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, foggy memory, slowed-down thinking and even brain shrinkage. Compromised hearing can make walking more difficult (you miss tiny clues that help you to stay balanced), and falls become more likely. The things that can damage the delicate, sound-sensing machinery in your inner ear include everything from aging and genetics to autoimmune disorders, ear infections, head injuries and loud noises. Some factors are beyond your control, but not all.