Predicted to nearly double in prevalence every 20 years, dementia is a general term for cognitive decline that’s severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is one of this condition’s greatest side effects, which is why Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.
Research suggests that untreated hearing loss can actually accelerate the progression of dementia. When you can’t hear, you have a natural tendency to become socially withdrawn, participate in conversations less, and experience an increase in mental stress—eventually, these things can contribute to dementia. When the brain can only focus on trying to hear, there is less energy being put into retaining information and forming memories. Conversely, when certain parts of the brain aren’t receiving enough stimulation, it can also affect its ability to function.
So, what can you do to make sure you are safeguarding against dementia?
The good news is researchers have found that hearing aids can actually delay the onset of dementia. Modern day hearing aids not only enhance and amplify sounds, they also make it easier for the brain to process and make sense of all sounds in an environment. This makes a significant difference.
Even someone with a mild hearing loss can significantly lighten their cognitive load with the use of hearing aids.
It’s important to remember that your hearing health is closely related to your overall health. In addition to dementia, hearing loss is also connected to depression, heart disease, obesity, and more. To make sure you are leading a happier and healthier life, the best thing you can do it get your hearing screened regularly by a hearing healthcare professional.