Your brain can be benefited by dealing with your loss of hearing. At least, that’s according to a new study out of a University of Manchester study group. Over the period of about 20 years (1996 to 2014), nearly 2000 men and women were evaluated by these scientists. The striking outcome? Dementia can be slowed by up to 75% by managing your hearing loss.
That is not an insignificant number.
But is it really that surprising? That’s not to detract from the significance of the finding, of course, that sort of statistical correlation between hearing loss treatment and the struggle against dementia is noteworthy and stunning. But it aligns well with what we currently know: as you get older, it’s essential to treat your hearing loss if you want to delay dementia.
How am I Impacted by This Research?
Scientific studies can be perplexing 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 long, diverse, and not really that pertinent to our discussion here. The bottom line is: this new study is yet another piece of evidence that reveals untreated loss of hearing can lead to or worsen cognitive decline including dementia.
So for you personally, what does this indicate? In some ways, it’s quite basic: you should come see us right away if you’ve observed any hearing loss. And you should start wearing that hearing aid as directed if you discover you require one.
Hearing Aids Help Prevent Dementia When You Use Them Regularly
Sadly, when people are prescribed with hearing aids, they don’t always instantly get into the habit of using them. The often cited reasons why include:
- You’re anxious about how hearing aids look. These days, we have lots of types available which may surprise you. Some models are so discreet, you may not even see them.
- It’s hard to make out voices. Your brain doesn’t always instantly adapt to hearing voices. We can suggest things to do to help make this process easier, like reading along with a book recording.
- The hearing aid doesn’t feel as if it fits perfectly. If you are suffering from this problem, please get in touch with us. We can help make it fit better.
- The hearing aid doesn’t feel 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.
Your future mental faculties and even your health as a whole are obviously affected by wearing hearing aids. We can help if you’re having difficulties with any of the above. Consulting 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 taking into consideration 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 crucial to be serious about treatment.
What’s The Connection Between Dementia And Hearing Aids?
So what’s the actual connection between dementia and loss of hearing? Social isolation is the leading theory but experts are not 100% sure. Many people, when faced with hearing loss, become less socially active. A different theory relates to sensory stimulation. All senses induce activity in the brain, and some experts theorize that the loss of stimulation can result in cognitive decline over a period of time.
Your hearing aid allows you to hear better. And that can help keep your brain active, providing a more potent natural defense against dementia and cognitive decline. That’s why a relationship between the two shouldn’t be surprising and why hearing loss treatments can slow down dementia by up to 75%.