It’s been proven in the medical world that good hearing promotes brain health. Accordingly, several comprehensive studies have shown that people with hearing loss have an increased risk of developing dementia later in life.
Of note is that the four factors which impact brain health are exercise, diet, sleep and hearing. As for the latter, fact of the matter is that we hear with our brains.
Hearing loss is the third most common medical condition that people from all walks of life have to navigate today. And nearly half of all adults 75 and older have some degree of impaired hearing.
Decreased cognitive function
Neurologist Dr Ronald Petersen from the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center said, “Some studies have shown that if people have a hearing loss over many years, certain parts of the brain, in particular the temporal lobe involved in hearing, but also involved in language and memory, may actually be smaller.”
According to the authors of a 2015 French study, participants with self-reported hearing loss but wearing no hearing aids had a marked decrease in cognitive function, as compared to participants without hearing loss (the controls). But participants who wore hearing aids had no difference in cognitive decline from the controls.
Thus it seems clear that untreated hearing loss can cause cognitive overload and shrinkage of the hearing portions of the brain. This in turn reduces cognitive capacities.
The importance of hearing aids
By wearing hearing aids, the hearing-impaired can stave off isolation, which has been shown conclusively to be the initiator of depression. Staying connected in social circles with family and friends goes a long way in allowing people with hearing loss to live fulfilling, happy lives. It also encourages communication and staying engaged in day-to-day life.
All the above simply underlines the importance of treating hearing loss with hearing aids. Not only do they provide significant support in maximizing hearing ability, but the resultant good hearing promotes brain health.