Over the past few years research has been undertaken to see how hearing loss can influence cognitive decline. Studies, so far, don’t highlight that hearing loss triggers dementia. What it does show is that the two are linked. As it's Alzheimer's Awareness Month, we've decided to discuss a few valid ideologies surrounding this.
The section of your brain that manages hearing and auditory processing can start to work in a different way – if the ability to hear decreases. This results in various changes in how the brain is constructed and works.
When hearing declines, you have to concentrate more in order to make sense of conversations and your surroundings. This added pressure increases your levels of mental energy. This means you have less energy to cope with storing memory and other forms of cognitive functions.
It is already common knowledge that social isolation can have a huge impact on mental and physical health. When you can’t hear properly it makes interaction with others challenging, which in turn alienates you socially. Your wellbeing alters and depression and loneliness can follow. All these negative changes are harmful to your mental wellbeing and quality of life.
Although we are not completely confident that the link between Alzheimer’s and hearing loss is in the result of one or all these points – knowing that there is a connection is a positive step into early prevention or assistance.
This doesn’t mean that seniors with hearing loss will get Alzheimer’s. However, it is still vital to reduce the risk or level of hearing loss – decreasing the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s altogether or lessen its ferocity.
In order to stay vital, connected and to continue having a good quality of life – it is important to get your hearing checked professionally.
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