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Hearing Loss Can Be Connected to Dementia, Depression, & Falls (Critical Info)

Video Highlights

• Hearing Loss
• Risks of Hearing Loss
• Fall Prevention: Defying Gravity

Hi, I am Dr. Eric Cobb, the Z-Health Performance, and today we’re talking about hearing loss. This is a huge topic and I’m gonna go through some stats with you really quickly. This is important because hearing loss is actually the third most common chronic disease process in the United States. It doubles the rates of diabetes and cancer, but almost no one talks about it.
 
Why is that a big deal? Well, number one, whenever we start to look at the rates of hearing loss, about 48 million people in the United States are currently experiencing some level of hearing loss. That number is expected to go up by 30 million people over the next four decades, and that’s because the population is generally aging. The ongoing risk of this, I think, are the things that bother me, and one of the issues, I believe with this not being discussed on a wider basis, we know that when people are experiencing hearing loss, their risk for depression goes up, their risk for social isolation goes up. But most importantly, whenever we look at rates of dementia, a mild hearing loss doubles the risk of developing dementia while a moderate hearing loss.
 
And these are just different gradations of how much hearing loss you’re experiencing, but a moderate hearing loss actually triples the risk for dementia. So we are starting to understand more about why that may occur. Number one, there’s some issues that are going on within the temporal lobe where some sound is being processed. So there are aspects of brain deficits that occur with hearing loss that may be associated with dementia.
 
On top of that, we also see challenges with, again, as we, as I mentioned, social interactions, people tend to become more isolated and we can get into the spiral of social isolation, depression, anxiety, all of that on top of actual pathology occurring within some of the neurons within the brain, and that seems to tie very directly into dementia.
 
How can we prevent that? Well, there is a lot of information now saying, Hey, if we can do something as simple as getting hearing aids into the ears of people that actually are experiencing hearing loss, that could be potentially preventative. Now, there’s a lot of research that still needs to be done around this, but I believe it is such a key thing for us to discuss. Wanted to make sure I did a little announcement on it. Now, what prompted this more than anything, however, is that in June of this year, I’m teaching a live course and a livestream course on fall prevention. It’s called Define Gravity. And one of the things that we’re talking about that are all the brain-based evidence issues that we can find related to falling.
 
Whenever we look at falling risk, a 25 decibel hearing loss, which is synonymous with mild hearing loss, will double or triple the risk of falling depending on the age group you’re looking at. And this is happening when most people are unaware of the hearing loss. Whenever we dive even more deeply into these stats on this, most people who have experienced hearing loss or are experiencing it, we’ll wait an average of 10 years before seeking any kind of treatment, and this is because it is progressive and it is often something people don’t recognize. The issue is that a lot of people think that hearing loss is all about, oh, I can no longer hear that frequency, right? Because a lot of times if you’ve ever been to an audiologist or you’ve taken an online hearing test, it’s like, Hey, can you hear that beep? Can you hear that tone? Well, it’s more complex than that because just like any sensation hearing is not just about the capacity to process the sound. It is about understanding what is heard and knowing what to do with that information.
 
So now as we’re becoming more, I think, intelligent overall on a systems basis for what does hearing loss really look like, we are now asking people better questions like, do you struggle to have conversations in a restaurant with a lot of ambient noise? Are you and your partner asking each other a lot? What did you say? Can you say that again? Can you turn the TV down? I can’t hear you. So it is important for us to, again, recognize that hearing loss, especially the early stages, may be more subtle. And this is why it’s important to test your hearing, get it checked. What I’m gonna do for this particular video, hopefully to prevent you from waiting 10 years to look into, Hey, are my ears becoming a little bit problematic? I’m gonna link you to a site that rates or ranks some of the easiest online hearing tests. It gives you some information about what type they are. Are they audio testing or tone testing, or is it about surround inhibition? So basically, is there sound going around the sounds that you’re trying to hear? So basically trying to emulate more a real life situation. Both of them are valuable. The main thing I want you to hear is that you need to test.
 
 
You need to notice, you need to pay attention. Pay attention to yourself, your partner, your kids, your clients, right? If you are a movement professional and you have someone that’s been with you for two or three years and you’re noticing that you work in the same environment and they are now more often than not having to turn and look at you to make sure they’re understanding your instructions about the exercise, well, that’s problematic. And remember, the risks are larger than, I just can’t hear what someone’s saying. There are risk of cognitive issues, dementia, anxiety, depression, all tied to something that we can notice we can take action on relatively easily. Alright?
 
So if you are a brain-based practitioner or interested in bringing brain-based principles into what you do as a movement professional, please make sure to subscribe to the channel. We are a education company. We focus on working with doctors, coaches, and therapists around the world. And so if this is interesting to you and you take this kind of view on your clients, you go, you know what? I wanna make sure I’m giving them the very best information for their entire life and for their entire body.
That’s really what we focus on. If I am a brain-based person and someone says, Hey, I have relative, that’s, we think it’s starting to develop some dementia, one of the first things I’m gonna ask ’em is, have you had their hearing tested? This is the type of information that can be life altering for many people, even though it sounds easy to implement, it’s just not well known. And so our job is to dig into the research and say, Hey, this is the cutting edge stuff that people need to know, and we’re just trying to promote it and get it out there. So hopefully you find this useful. Go into the writeup below, make sure that you check out the link and get your hearing tested.
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