Incorporating positive habits into your daily routine can significantly impact brain health, potentially reducing the risk of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. Start integrating these habits into your daily life to keep your brain healthy.

The Impact of Hearing Changes


Falls and Balance

Hearing plays a pivotal role in maintaining balance. Research conducted by Dr. Frank Lin and his team at Johns Hopkins discovered that even mild hearing loss can triple the risk of falls, with this risk escalating as hearing loss becomes more severe. Falls among older adults can significantly diminish their independence.

Cognitive Function

Mild hearing impairment doubles the likelihood of developing dementia compared to individuals with normal hearing. This risk further increases threefold for moderate hearing loss and fivefold for severe impairment. Dr. Frank Lin’s studies suggest that hearing loss necessitates additional cognitive effort to decipher sounds, potentially hastening brain aging and cognitive decline. Furthermore, hearing loss can lead to social isolation, further exacerbating cognitive health.

A study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery in January 2024, the largest of its kind, indicated that untreated hearing loss correlates with a higher risk of dementia, while the use of hearing aids can mitigate this risk.

Cardiovascular Health

Decades of research have indicated a connection between cardiovascular health and hearing. Dr. Raymond Hull’s analysis of 70 studies revealed that cardiovascular issues could adversely impact hearing due to inadequate oxygen-rich blood supply to the inner ear. Dr. David R. Friedland’s research suggests that hearing loss may serve as an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease, underscoring the importance of maintaining heart health to preserve hearing.


Individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss compared to those without the condition. Additionally, prediabetes is associated with a 30 percent higher incidence of hearing loss. Diabetes may inflict damage on the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear, contributing to hearing impairment.

Kidney Health

A 2010 study conducted in Australia found that over half of patients with moderate chronic kidney disease exhibited some degree of hearing loss. Researchers attribute this correlation to similarities between inner ear and kidney tissues, along with potential ototoxic effects of certain kidney treatments.

Preserving Your Hearing Health

Regardless of age or causative factors, untreated hearing loss can detrimentally impact overall health. Horan & Fevold Hearing Clinic advocates for regular hearing assessments and the utilization of hearing aids when necessary. If you encounter difficulties with hearing, balance, or tinnitus, scheduling a consultation with an audiologist or hearing aid expert is advisable.

Causes of Age-Related Hearing Changes

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) identifies several factors contributing to age-related hearing changes, encompassing alterations in the inner ear, middle ear, and nerve pathways, as well as prolonged noise exposure. Additional factors include infections, cardiovascular conditions, head trauma, tumors, and certain medications.

Age-related hearing changes typically affect both ears symmetrically and progress gradually, often escaping notice by the individual. Common indicators comprise the need to elevate TV volume, difficulty catching words in conversations, and challenges with telephone usage.

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Schedule Your Hearing Evaluation Today

Horan & Fevold Hearing Clinic offers extensive hearing tests for Wenatchee and Moses Lake residents, and expert guidance on hearing loss management. Our audiologists are committed to providing personalized care and support on your hearing health journey.

If you have any concerns about your hearing, Horan & Fevold Hearing Clinic is here for you. Schedule your initial hearing test, or consult with a hearing aid specialist today.