Research into the link between dementia and hearing loss is growing and while its not fully known why there is a link between dementia and hearing loss and what other factors may have an influence but its thought that wearing hearing aids sooner and more regularly could help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
How can wearing hearing aids reduce the risk of dementia?
Research to date demonstrates hearing aids help you hear more clearly, allowing less ‘brain energy’ to be used, figuring out what is being said and trying to hold a conversation. Because of the reduced listening effort, there is less strain on the brain which means the brain has more energy to fight off weakening changes in the brain which could go on to become dementia. The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care estimated that untreated hearing loss might account for up to 9% of dementia cases.
Research led by Dr Magda Bucholc published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions states ‘our latest research demonstrates that hearing aid use is linked to lower rates of cognitive decline and reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment in cognitively healthy adults, with hearing aid users having more that 50% lower risk compared to those not using hearing aids.’
How do I know if I have mild hearing loss?
Your hearing changes very slowly over a long time period, making it difficult to tell that your hearing is not as good as it used to be. You may start to feel that you miss certain words, and it's becoming difficult to follow conversations in environments with noisy backgrounds like a café. The television may become difficult to follow, and others may comment about the loud volume level.
Hearing aid myths that stop you from seeking help
Hearing aid users wait, on average, 10 years before getting help for hearing loss. Communication with loved ones becomes more difficult during that time, and isolation and health risks increase. There’s no downside to using hearing aids. They can make all the difference in the world. Allowing people to reengage with friends and family and to be more involved again.
Be proactive in addressing the hearing decline
Research into the links between hearing loss and dementia continues, and findings emphasize the need to proactively address any hearing declines over time. If you feel your hearing is not as good as it used to be, you should see your local independent hearing aid audiologist for a hearing check. Contact Arnold Hearing Specialists today