Researchers have found that hearing loss effects how quickly and severely dementia progresses. Multiple studies point to hearing loss as a significant modifiable risk for developing dementia, and treating hearing loss as having a greater impact than any other modifiable risk. Hearing aids have multiple roles in maintaining optimal brain function and helping to ensure you maintain your productive and happy life.
Improved Brain Function
In a study of first-time hearing aid users, hearing aids helped brain function in multiple ways. Before they started wearing hearing aids, participants took behavioral and cognitive tests to measure their hearing, memory, and processing speed. After using hearing aids for six months, the group took the same tests and saw:
- Improved memory
- Improved speech processing
- Greater ease of listening
Reduced Mental Strain
Straining to hear conversations is a common symptom of hearing loss. Continual stress on the brain to process sounds pulls resources away from other parts of the brain, reducing memory. If this strain continues, your brain could stop being able to conduct these functions altogether, allowing dementia to set in. Wearing hearing aids makes it easier to listen and limits that brain strain, enhancing both memory and brain functioning.
Prevent Social Isolation
When people cannot process the sounds around them, they tend to avoid social situations. This isolation is a leading cause of dementia because their cognitive functions are not being used and deteriorate quicker. Wearing hearing aids can help you participate in the conversation again.
Get Your Hearing Checked
Only a small percentage of people with hearing loss wear hearing aids, but they’re an important tool that will improve your ability to hear and provide long-term benefits. Unfortunately, many people spend years with declining hearing because they don’t even realize it’s happening. Many physicians now recommend including a hearing screen as part of your annual wellness plan once you reach age 55. Schedule a hearing test today and take the necessary steps towards maintaining or even improving your cognitive function and hearing.