Studies have shown that hearing loss can speed up brain atrophy, also known as cognitive decline. Leaving hearing issues untreated can significantly increase an individual’s risk of developing cognitive decline issues earlier than their peers. Understanding how and why hearing loss and dementia are related can help you learn the importance of treating hearing-related issues when you first notice them.
How Does Dementia Affect Hearing?
Dementia can be managed with some medications and therapies. Some common symptoms include poor judgment, forgetfulness, memory loss, and limited social skills.
Recent studies have become clear that people who are dealing with untreated hearing loss are more at risk for developing dementia. In fact, John Hopkins did a study of about 2,000 senior citizens and evaluated the cognitive impairment of these individuals over a period of six years.
The study revealed that those who had hearing loss experienced a faster rate of cognitive decline than those with no hearing-related issues. Unfortunately, it’s unclear just how hearing loss induces a higher risk of developing dementia in patients. As more studies are underway, the link between these two conditions may just reveal a cause.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect The Brain?
We’ve all heard the phrase, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” This phrase holds true when it comes to your body’s auditory system. As you age, you’ll likely start to notice a decline in your ability to hear properly. If this hearing loss is left untreated, the brain will begin to shrink various parts of the auditory system. This, in time, will make it even more challenging to hear.
Apart from the auditory system, hearing loss affects a person’s social well-being. Many who find it difficult to understand others will start to socially isolate, so they don’t have to address their hearing loss problem. With fewer social interactions, the brain will begin to atrophy much quicker.
Can Hearing Aids Help?
As you’ve discovered, hearing loss can lead to atrophy of the auditory system due to non-use. It can also cause a person to socially isolate themselves from others. To best prevent these issues from occurring, it’s advisable to use hearing aids. These hearing devices allow a person who is experiencing hearing loss to regain their hearing.
When you’re able to regain your hearing, you’ll continually use your auditory system, which means no atrophy to your auditory system. Second, you’ll be fully capable of connecting with others socially. This will decrease any social isolation that hearing loss may have caused.
Call Us Today
Hearing loss can be a problematic issue that you may not want to deal with. Unfortunately, letting hearing issues go can lead to more health problems like dementia and social isolation. Let our experienced hearing care specialists assist you with fixing your hearing issue. Contact your nearest Beltone Dallas Fort Worth office to receive a free hearing exam.