Even If You're Wired For Sound, If You Can't Hear You Lose Your Memory

MILLIONS OF HEARING IMPAIRED OLDER ADULTS will lose out on memory and working out problems unless they do something.

I learned how to say "Pardon me, I didn't hear you very clearly. Would you mind repeating what you said to me?" Best response is "Hah?"

Mild hearing loss is 25 decibels (which means nothing to a non-scientist) but cognitive problems developed 30% to 40% faster for those who shake their heads or point to the ear and say "I don't get it."

A new report by JAMA Internal Medicine says you first begin to tell of your loss in a crowded restaurant. Seven million people in the USA have dementia. Up to 66% of adults 70 and older have hearing loss. They tie in together, folks.

Researchers followed 1.984 adults ages 75-84 from 2001 to 2007, giving cognitive tests throughout the study. What counts are factors that contribute to loss of brain function -- high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Those with hearing loss took 7.7 years to show mental decline vs. 10.9 years for those with healthy hearing.

I caught a golf ball head on -- smack on my ear when my friend Betty shanked her drive at Biltmore. At the UM Hearing Clinic they tested me and found I had experienced a 20-25 percent loss of hearing in my early 30s.

My eyes would glaze over when further audiologists would mention a percentage of loss which grew exponentially.

For years I wore one over-the-year hearing aid and I was fine. Now I want to go back to those visible ones because I heard better with them than the in-the-ear kind. I'm told my hearing ability has reached its apex with the ones I wear. Frankly, it matters not that hearing loss shows when you've past seven decades of life.

I remember a friend of mine 50 years ago who had to get hearing aids and bought wig to keep them from showing. She was hot to trot for a new swain, who started trying to neck with her on the living room couch.

She was more concerned to hold onto the ear ends of her hairpiece than respond to his smooching. It was a tug of war to keep the hair on when he snuggled closer. As I recall, that romance didn't go the distance...