Aging brings many different complaints. Your joints may not work as good as they once did. Vision can wane and require remedies to correct it. But hearing loss is a chronic health condition that too often goes untreated. Less than 75% of people with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids don't use them.
Hearing is one of our most important gifts and hearing loss makes it difficult to stay in tune with what’s going on around you. Unfortunately, almost everyone will develop some form of cognitive decline, but a new study shows that hearings aids can reduce your risk.
Correlation Between Hearing Aids and Slowing Cognitive Decline
In a new study from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society designed to investigate the association between hearing loss, hearing aid use, and cognitive decline, a 25-year period of study showed that cognitive decline is significantly accelerated for people who have hearing loss and don't use hearing aids.
In a study from Johns Hopkins University released in 2013, researchers looked at 253 people, with an average age of 77. Most of the individuals in the study experienced some kind of hearing loss, from mild to severe. They were tested over a period of 23 years on their memory and language skills, as well as processing speeds.
What they found was that those who wore a hearing aid had lost less of their cognitive skills than those who had normal hearing. This is likely because that individuals who use a hearing device can stay engaged with those around them more effectively.
With cognitive decline, you may start to forget and lose things. While not everyone who has hearing loss will develop dementia, why take a chance? Treat your hearing loss before you begin to lose brain cells. Hearing aids have unique technology that can help you understand more and better engage in conversation.
With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to use a hearing aid, no matter what your lifestyle is. It’s improves the quality of your life in the moment, because you can hear your grandchild speaking to you or the television program that everyone’s talking about. Long term, it helps you keep your brain active, which lets you live a fuller life.
How Do You Know if You're at Risk?
As your body ages, so does your brain. Cognitive decline is just when your brain doesn’t work as well as it used it. Sometimes, this comes on quickly, as with Alzheimer’s disease, but it can also be a gradual onset. Most commonly, it’s called dementia.
Staying active and engaged with friends and family is thought to reduce the risk of cognitive decline. You should also keep your mind active by learning something new and challenging your brain with puzzles or games.