Improve Your Cognition With Hearing AidsDec 13, 2013
Hearing aids can help slow down the cognitive decline in people with hearing loss. Can hearing aids help you or someone you love?
Memory and being able to think quickly on your feet are neural processes that decrease naturally with age. But a new study out of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine now tells us that older adults who have untreated hearing loss are more likely to develop cognitive problems – and more likely to develop them at a faster rate – compared to older adults with normal hearing.
Cognition Decreases Faster With Hearing Loss
The study took place over six years, and tested older adults with hearing loss on their cognitive abilities over those years. The study found that for adults with untreated hearing loss, their cognitive function decreased 30-40% faster than those with normal hearing.
Declining Brain Function Directly Related To Hearing Loss
Researchers determined that levels of declining brain function were directly related to hearing loss, and they found that on average, those study participants with untreated hearing loss showed significant decline in cognitive function 3.2 years earlier than those with normal hearing.
Not Enough Energy For Memory
Some reasons for this connection between cognitive decline and hearing loss could be the social isolation and loneliness that comes with untreated hearing loss. Hearing impairment could also lead the brain to expend so much energy toward processing sound, that functions like thinking and memory don’t get enough energy.
Hearing Aids Improve Cognition
An earlier study done by the National Council of Ageing found that older adults who used hearing aids had better cognitive abilities and were less introverted than older adults with untreated hearing loss. People who wear hearing aids reported higher self-confidence, better social lives, and better physical and mental health.
An Audiologist Can Help
This research underlines how important it is for older adults to get regular hearing tests done by a professional audiologist, and get fitted for appropriate hearing aids if they are required. Hearing well can make all the difference in your health and well-being.
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