Most people know that loud noises increase the risk of hearing loss.
How Hearing Loss is Linked to Dementia
Our audiologist, Dr. John Salisbury, likes to remind patients that hearing is 10% ears and 90% brain. When hearing declines, not only do your ears miss out, but your brain and cognitive functions can also suffer.
Did you know that hearing loss has been connected to dementia in adults? There are several theories on how hearing loss causes cognitive declines, and ultimately, when left untreated contributes to dementia:
- When hearing is a constant struggle, your brain becomes more stressed over time as it becomes more difficult to process sound
- Your brain may “re-wire” itself in order to better process sound which can cause problems to other cognitive functions
- Finally, the less you hear the more social activities become difficult. People with hearing loss tend to isolate themselves and avoid conversation. Social isolation is a known risk factor for dementia
“Good hearing isn’t just something nice to have,” points out Dr. Salisbury. “It’s an essential part of health care as we age.” Many people still do not realize the importance of healthy hearing to a healthy brain. When you have better hearing, it has been proven that family connections strengthen, social interactions improve and activity increases. Conversing with friends, exercising and learning are all great activities to keep your brain active and strong too.
If you think you might have hearing loss, schedule a hearing test with a professional audiologist who can assess your situation and lifestyle needs. If you need hearing aids, don’t be afraid. Today’s hearing aid technology is amazing – more comfortable, more discreet and more importantly hearing aids offer great sound. Remember; hearing is 10% ears and 90% brain. Maintaining good hearing health is important to our overall well-being as we age.