Your brain can be helped by dealing with your loss of hearing. At least, that’s according to a new study by a team of analysts out of the University of Manchester. Over the period of approximately 20 years (1996 to 2014), nearly 2000 men and women were evaluated by these analysts. The surprising outcome? Dementia can be delayed by as much as 75% by treating hearing loss.
That is not an insignificant number.
But is it really that surprising? That’s not to take away from the importance of the finding, of course, this is an important statistical correlation between the struggle against cognitive decline and the treatment of hearing loss. But the information we already have aligns well with these findings: as you age, it’s vital to treat your hearing loss if you want to slow down cognitive decline.
How am I Impacted by This Research?
Scientific research can be confusing and inconsistent (should I eat eggs, should I not eat eggs? What about wine? Will drinking wine help me live longer?). There are lots of unrelated reasons for this. Because here’s the bottom line: this new study is yet another piece of evidence that indicates untreated loss of hearing can result in or exacerbate mental decline including dementia.
So what does this indicate for you? In certain ways, it’s fairly simple: if you’ve noticed any potential indications of hearing loss, schedule an appointment with us soon. And, if you need a hearing aid, you need to absolutely start using that hearing aid as directed.
Hearing Aids Help Prevent Dementia When You Wear Them Correctly
Unfortunately, not everybody falls right into the practice of wearing a prescribed pair of hearing aids. Some of the reasons why are:
- The hearing aid isn’t feeling as if it fits very well. If you are suffering from this issue, please let us know. They can fit better and we’re here to help.
- The hearing aid doesn’t feel like it works the way it should. Many people need to have their settings adjusted, and calibration problems are definitely something that can be addressed by our hearing specialists.
- It’s challenging to make out voices. Your brain doesn’t always instantly adjust to understanding voices. There are some things we can recommend, including reading along with an audiobook, that can make this situation easier.
- You’re concerned about how hearing aids look. Presently, we have a lot of types available which may surprise you. Some styles are so subtle, you may not even see them.
Your future cognitive abilities and even your health in general are clearly impacted by using hearing aids. If you’re struggling with any of the above, get in touch with us for an adjustment. Working with your hearing specialist to make sure your hearing aids are working for you is just part of the process and it requires time and patience.
And in light of these new findings, treating your hearing loss is more important than ever. Hearing aids are protecting your hearing health and your mental health so it’s important to be serious about treatment.
Hearing Aids And Dementia, What’s The Relationship?
So what’s the real connection between hearing loss and dementia? Experts themselves aren’t exactly certain, but some theories are related to social isolation. Some people, when faced with loss of hearing, become less socially involved. Sensory stimulation is the foundation of another theory. Over time, if a person loses sensory stimulation, like hearing loss, the brain receives less activity which then results in cognitive decline.
Your hearing aid helps you hear better. And that can help keep your brain active, delivering a more powerful natural defense against dementia and cognitive decline. That’s why a relationship between the two should not be unexpected and why hearing loss treatments can slow dementia by as much as 75%.