April 10, 2012
Hearing Loss: Only You Can Prevent Brain Rot
By David E. Petzal
In order to have some hope of conducting business with mankind in general, I wear hearing aids, but not very often, since I’m indifferent to what most people say, and I find that being able to hear all the little noises I had forgotten existed is annoying. But there is a problem with this. The first is that my hearing aids have memory, and when I go in for a checkup the audiologist plugs them into a laptop and they show how little I wear them.
This, the audiologist explained, is not wise. According to a study done at the University of Pennsylvania last year, “… declines in hearing ability may accelerate atrophy in auditory areas of the brain and increase the listening effort necessary for older adults to successfully comprehend speech.”
What this means in English is, that if your ears are f***ed, pretty soon your brain will be, too. And while your ears can get help from hearing aids, there’s nothing that can be done for your rotten brain. As the audiologist put it, “Once you start sliding down that slope, you’re in real trouble.”
I’m writing this for all of you who are getting on in years and are deaf and partly deaf, and all the young folks who are spending every waking hour with a plug in their ear listening to God knows what.
As they say in the military, “Be advised.”