We have some news for our faithful readers: cognitive decline is inextricably linked to hearing loss. You probably already know and understand this reality. And understanding this means recognizing the vital role hearing plays in keeping up with our brain’s health.
The Physical Realities of Aging
Facing the physical realities of aging can be a difficult journey. And, journeys take time. As you age, you may begin to realize things. Things like: “I may never dunk a basketball in my lifetime.” Or: “I can’t stay out to 3am going clubbing anymore.” And, perhaps: “My body doesn’t recover quickly anymore from flying coach to Europe. Time to upgrade.”
Yes, it’s true. Our bodies age. As our physical bodies age, we notice aches and pains. We don’t bounce back from physical ailments very quickly. And, we don’t have the stamina or fortitude we had when we were in our 20s and 30s. But, did you know that these physical changes in our bodies can have a negative impact on our brains?
Cognitive Decline and Hearing Loss
A new comprehensive and systematic review of dozens of studies on the link between cognitive decline (dementia) and hearing loss was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. And, Starkey’s hearing loss blog summed up this study in a neat and tidy way:
- Adults with hearing loss experience a 30-40% faster rate of cognitive decline than those without hearing loss.
- Adults with hearing loss are 5 TIMES MORE LIKELY to develop dementia.
- Hearing loss is linked to accelerated shrinking of the brain.
Wow. These figures are staggering to us. Forget the jokes about nagging spouses, shouting “WHAT?” constantly, and turning up the TV to the loudest possible volumes so the whole street can here. Aside from helping relationships, hearing aids also help prevent further issues related to cognitive decline.
Though we’ve written about the link between dementia and hearing loss before, these recent findings tell us that the impact of this link is MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT than we believed. The findings are astounding, and we hope that our fellow Southwest Floridians take them to heart.
Cognitive Decline and Hearing Aids
So, don’t walk — RUN FOR THE HEARING AIDS! Preserving brain function — and the pathways between your ears and your brain — should be among your top priorities as you age. Losing your physical abilities is — for sure — sobering. Realizing you aren’t the “young buck” you once were can certainly be dismal. And yet, losing cognition, brain function, memory, and understanding is significantly more frustrating than any physical ache, pain or issue.
In reality, hearing aids can’t cure or restore hearing loss. However, when worn and used properly, they can preserve and augment hearing function, giving you the ability to truly enjoy your life. They certainly prevent accelerated cognitive decline and preserve the neural pathways between your ears and your brain. What better reason to get a hearing test than that?
These sobering realities should inform our health and wellness decisions. So, make wise decisions today to preserve your future self. Contact us today to schedule your FREE HEARING TEST. One of our outstanding audiologists would love to help you understand more about your own hearing and ways you can prevent cognitive decline. Just give us a call — we’re HEAR to help! Get it?! 🙂