Taking care of your hearing loss can be helpful for your brain. At least, that’s according to a new study by a team of researchers from the University of Manchester. Over the period of around 20 years (1996 to 2014), nearly 2000 men and women were examined by these scientists. The unexpected results? Dementia can be delayed by as much as 75% by treating hearing loss.
That’s a substantial number.
But still, it’s not all that surprising. The importance of the finding, of course, is still useful, that kind of statistical correlation between hearing loss treatment and the struggle against dementia is noteworthy and eye-popping. But the insight we already have aligns well with these findings: treating your loss of hearing is vital to slowing cognitive decline as you age.
What Does This Research on Dementia Mean For me?
You can’t always rely on the information presented in scientific research because it can in many cases be contradictory. The reasons for that are long, diverse, and not really that pertinent to our topic here. The main point here is: this new study is yet another piece of evidence that implies untreated hearing loss can lead to or exacerbate mental decline including dementia.
So for you personally, what does this mean? In certain ways, it’s fairly basic: if you’ve been noticing any probable signs of hearing loss, come see us in the near future. And you need to begin using that hearing aid as directed if you discover you require one.
When You Use Them Regularly, Hearing Aids Can Help Forestall Dementia
Regrettably, not everyone falls directly into the habit of using a prescribed pair of hearing aids. The often cited reasons why include:
- Voices are difficult to make out. Your brain doesn’t always instantly adjust to understanding voices. There are things we can recommend, such as reading along with an audiobook, that can make this process go more smoothly.
- The hearing aid isn’t feeling like it fits properly. If you are having this problem, please let us know. We can help make it fit better.
- You’re anxious about how hearing aids look. You’d be surprised at the variety of designs we have available currently. In addition, many hearing aid models are manufactured to be very unobtrusive.
- The way that the hearing aid is supposed to work, doesn’t appear to be the way it’s currently working. Many people need to have their settings adjusted, and calibration problems are definitely something that can be addressed by our hearing specialists.
Clearly using your hearing aids is important to your health and future mental abilities. We can help if you’re trying to cope with any of the above. Working with your hearing expert to make sure your hearing aids are working for you is just part of the process and it requires time and patience.
It’s more significant than ever to treat your hearing loss particularly in the light of the new evidence. Hearing aids are protecting your hearing health and your mental health so it’s essential to take that treatment seriously.
Hearing Aids And Dementia, What’s The Link?
So why are these two conditions dementia and loss of hearing even linked to begin with? Social solitude is the leading theory but scientists are not 100% certain. Many people, when faced with hearing loss, become less socially involved. Another theory has to do with sensory stimulation. Over time, if a person loses sensory stimulation, like hearing loss, the brain receives less activity which then causes cognitive decline.
Your hearing aid allows you to hear better. And that can help keep your brain active, offering a more effective natural safeguard against dementia and cognitive decline. That’s why a link between the two should not be unexpected and why hearing loss treatments can slow dementia by up to 75%.