The True Cost of Decisions

Roulette Wheel

 Decisions Come With Consequences

Are you a gambler? Are you willing to gamble with your mental, emotional, or social health? Actually, hearing loss turns all of us into gamblers. If you decide to get treated, you are gambling real money for the possibility of better hearing and a more active life. If you decide against treatment for your hear loss you can only win what you didn’t spend, but those winnings will only make sense if you don’t suffer the terrible consequences of untreated hearing loss; social isolation, thinking and memory problems, and depression.
Mounting evidence has established a  strong link between untreated hearing loss and diminished cognitive function, including dementia. Studies also link untreated hearing loss to other medical and emotional problems, including depression.

OK…studies show a strong link between untreated hearing loss and dementia. But is there any indication that hearing aids can help?

New research just published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by researchers at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux France. The study followed 3,670 adults, age 65 and older over a 25-year period.

The research indicates that “Use of hearing aids attenuates cognitive decline in elderly people with hearing loss”. The study found that people treated with hearing aids showed the same rate of cognitive decline as a control group with normal hearing. 

Decision Risk Analysis

Assuming an audiologist recommended hearing aids after a comprehensive battery of tests, you can either decide to invest in hearing aids or “wait and see”. We understand…hearing aids can be expensive! To help you decide, we provide some context….what is known as a risk analysis. The following information and supporting links will give you what you need to make your best decision. Of course, we will always be there as a guide, or to clarify any confusion. 

  • The following Decision Tree will help you visualize the road ahead.
  • The blue and green boxes represent positive reasons for purchasing hearing aids…and the red boxes represent your reasons for opting out of a purchase.
  • To make an informed decision, weigh your reasons for not getting hearing aids against the positive reasons for purchasing.
  • In any case, Dr. Li-Korotky will help you navigate through the options.

Click on the image for an expanded view:

The bottom line:

Your hearing is an essential part of living and communicating, and there can be serious consequences for neglecting hearing loss

So…Should You Invest in Hearing Aids?

Investment decisions can be complex and personal, and we certainly respect that. From a purely evidence point of view, however, there’s no contest:

  • Properly fitted and adjusted hearing aids with features appropriately selected to meet your particular hearing loss and lifestyle preferences will improve your life …especially when combined with an effective rehabilitation program.
  • The cost of neglecting hearing loss is disproportionately large when you consider the medical and emotional consequences of not acting.
  • It seems like a bad decision to withhold from improving your hearing …if you can …and the sooner the better! The decision, of course, is yours…and so are the consequences.

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