If you think of hearing loss as just an inconsequential part of getting older, you’re not alone.
The truth is, however, that the condition can strike even the youngest among us — more than one in 1,000 babies screened has some form of hearing impairment, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data — and it can trigger other health problems, too.
Take cognitive decline, for example, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Research has long pointed to links between hearing loss and reduced brain functioning over time, but the statistics may surprise you.
Consider these startling findings:
On average, seniors with hearing loss experience significantly reduced cognitive function 3.2 years before their normal-hearing counterparts. Hearing-impaired seniors experience thinking and memory problems 30 to 40 percent faster than their normal-hearing counterparts. Older adults with a hearing disability may lose over …