Treating your loss of hearing can be good for your brain. At least, that’s according to a new study by a group of analysts out of the University of Manchester. Over the period of around 20 years (1996 to 2014), nearly 2000 men and women were examined by these scientists. The unexpected results? Dementia can be delayed by as much as 75% by dealing with hearing loss.
That’s a significant 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 connection between the battle against dementia and the treatment of hearing loss. But it coordinates well with what we already know: as you get older, it’s essential to treat your loss of hearing if you want to slow down dementia.
What Does This Research on Dementia Mean For me?
Scientific studies can be confusing and inconsistent (should I eat eggs, should I not eat eggs? How about wine? Will drinking wine help me live longer?). The causes for that are lengthy, varied, and not very relevant to our discussion here. The main point here is: yet another piece of evidence, this research indicates untreated hearing loss can lead to or worsen cognitive decline including dementia.
So what does this indicate for you? It’s simple in many ways: if you’ve been noticing any possible signs of hearing loss, schedule an appointment with us in the near future. And you should start using that hearing aid as advised if you find out you require one.
When You Use Them Correctly, Hearing Aids Can Help Prevent Dementia
Regrettably, not everybody falls directly into the practice of using a prescribed pair of hearing aids. Some of the reasons why are:
- The hearing aid doesn’t feel as if it fits comfortably. If you are experiencing this problem, please give us a call. They can fit better and we’re here to help.
- The hearing aid doesn’t seem like it works as advertised. Many people need to have their settings adjusted, and calibration problems are definitely something that can be addressed by our hearing specialists.
- You’re concerned about how hearing aids look. Nowadays, we have a lot of types available which might amaze you. Some models are so discreet, you might not even see them.
- Voices are difficult to make out. Your brain doesn’t always instantly adjust to hearing voices. There are things we can recommend, like reading along with an audiobook, that can make this process easier.
Obviously wearing your hearing aids is important to your health and future cognitive abilities. If you’re struggling with any of the above, come see us for an adjustment. Quite often the answer will take time or patience, but working with your hearing professional to ensure your hearing aids are working for you is a part of the process.
It’s more important than ever to take care of your hearing loss especially taking into consideration the new findings. Hearing aids are safeguarding your hearing health and your mental health so it’s important to be serious about treatment.
What’s The Connection Between Dementia And Hearing Aids?
So what’s the real connection between hearing loss and dementia? Social isolation is the prominent theory but experts are not 100% certain. Some people, when faced with hearing loss, become less socially active. A different theory concerns sensory stimulation. Over the years, if a person loses sensory stimulation, like hearing loss, the brain gets less activity which then results in cognitive decline.
You hear better with a hearing aid. Providing a natural defense for your brain against cognitive decline and helping to keep your brain active. That’s why a connection between the two should not be unexpected and why hearing loss treatments can delay dementia by up to 75%.