The Relationship Between Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline
Some studies suggest that hearing loss in aging adults is associated with a higher risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment. There are various theories for this. Some researchers indicate that untreated hearing loss or impairment can cause the brain to overwork in an attempt to understand speech and sound. When a brain is overwhelmed, it cannot work as efficiently.
A second theory is social isolation. Some people prefer to stay home when they have trouble socializing or interacting in everyday situations – but isolation reduces stimuli, leading to reduced cognitive function. A third theory is brain structure. If brain cells shrink from lack of stimulation, whether sounds or otherwise, it can affect cognitive function.
Hearing loss can mimic cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s
Are you having trouble understanding other people? Do you find it stressful or tiring to have even simple conversations? It is possible to confuse hearing loss and cognitive decline signs initially. Hearing loss and cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s can have similar symptoms, so you must have regular cognitive screening to ensure you receive a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
However, there is still a correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline, and you are potentially at a higher risk of developing dementia. You can be proactive and reduce the effects of cognitive hearing loss by making healthy lifestyle changes, taking appropriate medications, wearing your hearing aids, and staying involved in regular social activities.
What are the Benefits of Cognitive Screening?
Cognitive screening allows you to take control of your hearing and your mental health. Early detection will enable doctors to address and decrease the symptoms of cognitive decline. Cognitive screening is relatively quick and objective and provides a scientific algorithm for easy interpretation.
Then, you will receive specific treatment and product recommendations to improve your hearing and reduce cognitive issues, all based on your unique needs and lifestyle. When you address hearing loss, you will better understand your cognitive functioning and have peace of mind about your mental health.
Maintain Your Brain with Hearing Aids
One 2020 study shows that the use of hearing aids improves speech perception, listening ability, and quality of life scores. More frequent and proper hearing aid use is also associated with more significant improvements in cognitive function and a lower risk of depression or dementia. Hearing aids do not simply help you hear better.
They allow you to continue to stay involved in everyday life. With improved communication and mood, a better ability to socially interact, and participate more fully in various stimulating activities, these lifestyle improvements slow cognitive decline.
Schedule a Cognitive Screening Today
Hearing aids are not just for hearing – they can help you maintain and improve your quality of life. Contact Memorial Hearing today to find out more about the correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline.
We are proud to serve the Houston, TX area by providing personalized, individualized attention to all of your hearing needs. We can discuss cognitive hearing loss, perform cognitive screening, and help find the right treatment options for your needs.
At Memorial Hearing, we use the Cognivue Machine for cognitive screening. Unlike cognitive testing done using paper and pencil tests, Cognivue® is based on neurophysiology and psychophysical research that dynamically tests cortical function.