Whether it’s your dad, your grandmother, your spouse, or even you, we all know someone who suffers from age-related hearing loss.

In fact, 50% of people older than 75 experience disabling hearing loss.

Here is how doctors are using cochlear implants to restore hearing and save lives. It’s Your Health tonight.

102-year-old Irvin Poff survived World War II but is still feeling the impact 80 years later.

“In the past when you’re flying a bomber, there really wasn’t any concept of hearing protection, hearing loss, in this age group is quite important to treat because it could deteriorate, it could further, or make dementia worse,” said Akira Ishiyama, MD, Ear Surgeon UCLA Cochlear Implant Program Director.

A new study found that people over 75 with hearing loss are nearly twice as likely to develop dementia and lose their cognitive abilities up to 40% more quickly than people without a hearing problem.

Until recently, someone Poff’s age would not be considered for a cochlear implant, a small electronic device that electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve. But now he’s become one of the oldest people to receive this life changing technology.

“We also have a technology to combine the use of hearing aid and a cochlear implant called the hybrid technology, and by frequency, but no hearing in the mid and higher frequencies,” said Dr. Ishiyama.

The combination of the two technologies took Poff’s hearing from 30 to 60%.

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“My understanding of words is almost twice what it was before,” said Irvin Poff, Suffering from Hearing Loss.

Just enough to keep Poff enjoying life.