Doctors have found a link between hearing loss and dementia. Research has shown that hearing aids can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Leaving hearing loss untreated and unmanaged can lead to an increased risk of dementia. The research has shown that hearing loss taxes the brain cognitively, can lead to social isolation and depression and accelerates brain atrophy. All three of these are suspected to be contributing factors to dementia.
Dementia Linked to Hearing Loss
Dr. Frank Lin has researched the connection between hearing impairment and dementia. He estimates that 36% of dementia risk is linked to hearing loss. Therefore, treating hearing loss could help fight cognitive decline. (source) Hearing aids and other treatments for hearing loss are not the only ways to prevent dementia either. A report published in the Lancet tells how scientists found that up to ⅓ of dementia cases around the world can be prevented with exercise, social contact and weight management. We should also explain that dementia isn’t a specific disease. It can be caused by diseases, like Alzheimer’s, for example. Dementia is a set of symptoms including memory loss, difficulty thinking, problem solving, and language.
Hearing Aids Can Help
Although we associate hearing with our ears, we actually hear with our brains. People that experience hearing loss have to reorganize the connections in the brain that respond to sounds. Hearing aids can help provide the sound stimulation and make that reorganization unnecessary or even restores the organization of the “sound center”. (source)
Learning about this connection between dementia and hearing loss makes it more important than ever to seek care if you are experiencing any problems hearing. If you would like to speak with an experienced hearing care professional and discuss your available options based off your specific hearing loss needs, contact us today and schedule an appointment.