Hearing Loss & Dementia: Preventing Cognitive Decline with Hearing Aids
Hearing loss can have a detrimental impact on one’s quality of life. A recent development in cognitive research shows that hearing loss can potentially affect one’s chances of becoming diagnosed with dementia. When it comes to brain health, it’s important to keep the brain stimulated and active. When a person experiences hearing loss, it can be difficult to complete the necessary cognitive processes. In turn, this can cause dementia to develop.
Wearing hearing aids can potentially decrease the chances that dementia occurs for a variety of reasons. With experience helping people in central New Jersey with services including hearing aid repairs and maintenance and VA community care, Horizon Audiology, Inc. talks about hearing loss and dementia.
What Is the Relationship Between Hearing Loss and Dementia?
Dementia is a brain disease that causes a decline in cognitive thinking. It can affect important brain processes such as memory, problem-solving, or language. As it worsens, it can severely impact the ability to complete day-to-day activities. Dementia can make it more difficult for individuals to remember important things such as appointments, paying bills, or directions to places they frequently visit.
This disease develops because the brain and brain cells can become altered and change as people grow older. This is why dementia typically affects older adults around 65 to 70 years. Dementia is slow-progressing, meaning it can worsen over time. This makes it increasingly important to receive a diagnosis as soon as symptoms arise. Physicians and specialists can suggest activities and other methods to slow the progression of the disease, ensuring a high quality of life for more years.
Does Hearing Loss Cause Dementia?
Hearing loss can be one of the factors that cause dementia to develop. When a patient experiences hearing loss, this forces the brain to exert more effort into hearing and piecing together information in social situations. In turn, this takes necessary brain power away from other important cognitive processes, such as memory and thinking. As the brain works harder to fill gaps in auditory processing, it can change essential brain structures. These changes may make it more likely that dementia develops in people with auditory problems.
Hearing loss can also cause a social decline in everyday situations. This is because individuals with auditory issues may find it too difficult to engage in social activities. After all, understanding conversations and contexts requires more effort. Socialization plays a large role in ensuring the brain remains stimulated and active. Without it, the brain does not receive the exercise it needs to remain sharp and fully functional.
Because isolation is a cause of dementia, those who avoid social situations because of hearing issues can put themselves at risk for developing the disease. In addition, hearing loss and isolation associated with auditory problems can increase feelings of depression, which also contributes to cognitive decline and the onset of dementia.
Hearing Aids and Dementia Prevention
While studies are ongoing about the effects of hearing aids on hearing loss and dementia prevention, they can still drastically improve the quality of life for individuals with hearing loss. Hearing aids can allow patients to engage in social situations without struggle as they can actively hold and understand conversations with others and avoid confusion. In turn, this works to stimulate the brain and keep it active, which can prevent symptoms of dementia.
In addition, socialization for those with hearing aids can decrease the likelihood of developing depression stemming from isolation. Using hearing aids can also protect the brain from working harder to complete cognitive processes. Instead of using the necessary brain power to hear and understand others, patients can now save that energy and put it toward other cognitive functions, such as thinking and problem-solving.
Seek Auditory Care at Horizon Audiology, Inc.
The experienced team at Horizon Audiology, Inc. provides the central New Jersey community with unmatched hearing aid services. The compassionate staff cares for patients of all ages who require auditory assistance, from babies to older individuals. They also specialize in helping people find the right auditory equipment to help them thrive. Concerned about patients’ quality of life, the team ensures easy access to comprehensive audiology care. To learn more about hearing loss and dementia, contact Horizon Audiology, Inc., or make an appointment request today at one of our locations in East Windsor and Pennington, NJ.