This June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and one
of our goals is to bring awareness to the connection between the cognitive
decline of the brain and untreated hearing loss.
Studies are inconclusive as to the exact reason for the link
between hearing loss and dementia. We use auditory processing to decode
messages we receive from our ears, which is the reason why there is a
connection, because, technically speaking, we hear with our brains.
Uncovering the Connection
There are continuing studies towards cognitive issues with
the connection to hearing loss, like Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. A cure,
or at the very least treatment, is the dire need of anyone who has been
affected by these types of cognitive issues.
One of the key factors in the puzzle lies somewhere in the
strain put onto the brain when it is trying to decode sounds that aren’t
properly heard over time. Hearing loss often causes social isolation, which is
believed to be another connection, as well as a known risk factor towards
dementia and similar cognitive disorders. Research conducted by John Hopkins
along with the National Institute of Aging recently uncovered another
connection: the shrinking of the brain that occurs normally with age. This
particular factor seems to occur faster in older adults with hearing loss.
Let Hearing Aids Help
Hearing loss develops slowly over time. The gradual loss can
be difficult to detect since it happens subtly over time. Our brain’s ability
to compensate also increases over time. Catching hearing loss in its early
stages, and treating it, can help slow down or stop the progression. Doing so
can also help lessen the burden put upon the brain by the hearing loss. That
being said, an annual hearing screening is even more important, because not
only is your hearing at risk, but so are the crucial cognitive functions needed
to live a healthy life. Many experts recommend a baseline hearing exam conducted
for an individual as early as 45 years of age, following up with yearly
checkups to assess any changes.
Are you looking for a hearing healthcare professional in
your area? Visit
our website today to schedule an appointment and help determine whether or
not you are experiencing hearing loss, and how we can help you. Remember to
take care of your hearing, your brain will be grateful.