Hearing is one of the five senses and one that we gradually lose over time, which can greatly impact our cognitive function. Because of the reduction on cognitive function, individuals with hearing loss often experience other issues such as Dementia, heart disease, poor balance, and more. Studies have found that one thing can help slow cognitive decline – hearing aids.
Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline
Research has shown the correlation between hearing aids and the slow of cognitive decline. Millions of Americans suffer from some level of hearing loss. Eleven studies conducted over the last three years found that elderly patients with untreated hearing loss were up to 57 percent more likely to suffer from cognitive decline.
Why does this happen? When a person suffers from hearing loss, they are often forced to start focusing more intensely to understand the sounds around them. As such, another part of the brain gets used for auditory decoding; this type of hearing is referred to as effortful listening.
One study showed through MRIs that brain volume actually has a higher risk of declining in those whose hearing is impaired when compared with those who have no hearing deprivation and those who use the assistance of hearing devices. Physical brain matter is in peril for those that do not practice good hearing care; it is not just the unseen thoughts and memory being adversely affected.
How Hearing Aids Help
Statistics have shown that a person’s cognitive decline was lowered by 75% with the usage of hearing aids. How does this work? Hearing aids simply give a person their hearing back. By stimulating your ears, the nerves which stimulate the brain are also stimulated, allowing a person to fully understand what they are hearing. In order to get the best results from a hearing aid, you should first have your hearing tested. Once you know your level of hearing loss, your audiologist can recommend the right device for you.
Whether you’ve experienced symptoms of hearing loss for several weeks or several years, it’s never too late to get your hearing checked. Contact Beltone Audiology today to get started.