Hearing Loss And Cognitive Decline

an older hearing loss patient cupping hand to ear

It is a known fact that as we get older, we are more likely to experience a level of decline in our cognitive ability. This can be quite subtle and mild for some, but for others, it can be something that is much more serious. It can be considered a normal aspect of aging to forget small details like a phone number or addresses. It can take a little longer to learn something new, and it can be hard to concentrate on something fully. Although it is something that we can’t stop from happening, we can definitely do something to slow it down.

The good news about this is that with an understanding of the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss, you can help yourself to slow down what might be happening as you get older.

The relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline

There are several studies into this area, as you might imagine. Some studies have suggested that hearing loss is more likely to happen for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and that it is associated with a faster decline in cognitive function. But how are the two connected?

There are several thoughts on this. One thought is that it is all about cognitive load. When you have hearing loss that remains untreated, your brain has to do more work each day to figure out what noises are happening around you and what people are saying. Overuse can lead to overworking, which means your mind works less efficiently.

Another thought in this area is that it is all about the structure of the brain. When there is a lack of stimulation in the brain, which can occur when you can’t hear something, then the brain cells in that part of the brain can shrink.

A final theory in this area is around social isolation. If you are experiencing hearing loss but don’t do anything about it, it can make social situations much more difficult. To make it easier, you then reduce your social interactions, especially as you age, leaving you with fewer stimuli overall, impacting your cognitive function.

Cognitive decline can also be linked to other problems with our health, such as depression, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease. One of the best things that we can do to keep our mind healthy, and as a result, keep our body healthy is to make sure that we stay mentally stimulated. By keeping active and seeing friends and family, it can help your overall health. Using hearing aids will be part of this, in order to keep those interactions as stress-free as possible.

Maintain your mind with hearing aids

There are many studies that show that using hearing aids can help to lower your risk for cognitive decline and dementia. In the studies, it is interesting that people who experience hearing loss, who weren’t using hearing aids, were at a higher risk than those who experience hearing loss but used hearing aids to help them. This shows just how much being able to hear can help in your everyday life, helping your mind, and helping you to stay healthier.

By having the ability to communicate with hearing aids, you can improve your mood, enjoy social interactions, and have the many opportunities that can help to stimulate your brain as you get older. All of these things can help to slow down cognitive decline.

Test your hearing

By treating your hearing loss with hearing aids, you will be giving yourself a great chance to slow down cognitive decline. Checking on your hearing is part of checking on your health overall, so it should definitely be something to consider.

It is important to note that it is never too late to improve your hearing or work on your overall health. Experiencing hearing loss can be quite common, with millions of Americans experiencing hearing loss every day. You might be unaware of your hearing loss or just be putting off an appointment. But it is important to not let it go untreated. Make an appointment with an audiologist and check up on your hearing.

Contact us today!

If you are experiencing hearing loss and want to have your hearing assessed, and talk about your options when it comes to hearing aids, then get in touch with one of the team members at The Hearing Doctors today. Give us a call at (630) 315-2899 and find out how we can help you with your concerns. We have a team of friendly experts, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.