Taking care of your loss of hearing can be good for your brain. At least, that’s according to a new study out of a University of Manchester study group. Over the period of around 20 years (1996 to 2014), nearly 2000 individuals were examined by these researchers. The unexpected results? Dementia can be slowed by up to 75% by dealing with hearing loss.
That is not a small figure.
But still, it’s not really all that surprising. That’s not to take away from the importance of the finding, of course, that sort of statistical relationship between hearing loss treatment and the battle against dementia is important and shocking. But the insight we already have coordinates with these findings: treating your loss of hearing is vital to slowing dementia as you get older.
How am I Impacted by This Research?
You can’t always trust the content provided in scientific studies because it can in many cases be inconsistent. The causes for that are lengthy, varied, and not very relevant to our discussion here. Because here’s the bottom line: this new study is yet another piece of evidence that indicates untreated hearing loss can result in or exacerbate mental decline including dementia.
So for you personally, what does this mean? In certain ways, it’s pretty straight forward: you should set up an appointment with us as soon as possible if you’ve observed any hearing loss. And you need to begin using that hearing aid as advised if you discover you need one.
Hearing Aids Assist in Preventing Dementia When You Use Them Correctly
Regrettably, when most people are prescribed with hearing aids, they don’t always instantly get into the habit of using them. Some of the reasons why are:
- You’re anxious about how hearing aids appear. Presently, we have lots of styles available which might surprise you. In addition, many hearing aid models are designed to be very unobtrusive.
- 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.
- It’s hard to make out voices. In some instances, it takes time for your brain to adjust to recognizing voices again. There are some things we can recommend, including reading along with an audiobook, that can help make this situation go more smoothly.
- The hearing aid isn’t feeling as if it fits very well. If you are having this problem, please give us a call. We can help make it fit better.
Clearly using your hearing aids is essential to your health and future cognitive faculties. We can help if you’re trying to cope with any of the above. Working with your hearing expert 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 before. Hearing aids are protecting your hearing health and your mental health so it’s important to take that treatment seriously.
What’s The Link Between Dementia And Hearing Aids?
So why are these two problems loss of hearing and dementia even connected in the first place? Social solitude is the prominent theory but scientists are not completely certain. When dealing with hearing loss, some people isolate themselves socially. Another theory has to do with sensory stimulation. In time, if a person loses sensory stimulation, such as hearing loss, the brain receives less activity which then leads to cognitive decline.
You hear better when you wear your hearing aid. And that can help keep your brain active, supplying a more potent natural defense against dementia and cognitive decline. That’s why treating hearing loss can delay dementia by as much as 75% percent and why it shouldn’t be surprising that there is a link between the two.