Your brain can be helped by dealing with your loss of hearing. At least, that’s according to a new study by a group of analysts from the University of Manchester. Over the period of about 20 years (1996 to 2014), nearly 2000 people were examined by these scientists. The striking outcome? Dementia can be delayed by up to 75% by dealing with hearing loss.
That is not an insignificant figure.
But is it really that surprising? That’s not to detract from the importance of the finding, of course, that type of statistical relationship between hearing loss treatment and the struggle against dementia is noteworthy and eye-popping. But the insight we already have aligns well with these findings: treating your loss of hearing is essential to slowing dementia as you age.
How am I Impacted by This Research?
Scientific research can be inconsistent and perplexing (should I eat eggs, should I not eat eggs? What about wine? Will drinking wine help me live longer?). The reasons for that are lengthy, diverse, and not all that pertinent to our topic here. Because here’s the main point: this new study is yet another piece of evidence that indicates untreated hearing loss can lead to or worsen mental decline including dementia.
So what does this mean for you? It’s straightforward in many ways: if you’ve noticed any possible signs of hearing loss, make an appointment with us as soon as you can. And you should start wearing that hearing aid as directed if you discover you need one.
When You Wear Them Correctly, Hearing Aids Can Counter Dementia
Unfortunately, when people are prescribed with hearing aids, they don’t always immediately get into the habit of wearing them. The often cited reasons why include:
- 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.
- You’re concerned about how hearing aids appear. You’d be amazed at the assortment of models we have available currently. Some models are so subtle, you may not even notice them.
- It’s hard to make out voices. Your brain doesn’t always immediately adapt to understanding voices. We can recommend things to do to help make this process easier, like reading along with a book recording.
- The hearing aid isn’t feeling as if it fits very well. If you are suffering from this problem, please let us know. We can help make it fit better.
Obviously using your hearing aids is essential to your health and future cognitive faculties. We can help if you’re struggling with any of the above. Working with your hearing professional 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, managing your hearing loss is more important than it ever has been. Be serious about the treatment because hearing aids are defending your hearing and your mental health.
What’s The Link Between Dementia And Hearing Aids?
So why are these two conditions hearing loss and dementia even linked to begin with? Experts themselves aren’t exactly sure, but some theories are associated with social solitude. Many people, when faced with loss of hearing, become less socially involved. Sensory stimulation is the foundation of another theory. All senses generate activity in the brain, and some scientists theorize that losing stimulation can lead to cognitive decline over time.
Your hearing aid allows you to hear better. Providing a natural safeguard for your brain against cognitive decline and helping to keep your brain active. That’s why a relationship between the two shouldn’t be unexpected and why hearing loss treatments can slow down dementia by up to 75%.