It’s no surprise that hearing loss is a common health condition affecting older adults — one-third of adults over 60 years old suffer from some level of hearing loss. Recent studies have found that individuals with hearing loss are two times more likely to develop memory loss than individuals with normal hearing. But were you aware that researchers believe there is a connection between hearing loss and dementia?
So what does this mean for you or your loved ones if they’re experiencing hearing loss? Treating hearing loss is more important than the ear, possibly helping slow down dementia. Follow along as El Dorado Hearing explores the connection between dementia and hearing loss and if hearing aids can decrease the risk of memory loss.
The Connection Between Hearing and Dementia
When you hear something, the nerves in your ear pass the sound through the ear canal to the brain, where the sound is then processed into something tangible for you to comprehend. If the nerves in the ear become damaged, they cannot transmit this noise through the ear. As a result, your brain doesn’t get the stimulation it once did. Over time, this decreased stimulation because of hearing loss can lead to dementia.
Many individuals with hearing loss rely on hearing aids to help make listening and interpreting the world around them possible. Hearing aids safeguard your brain against dementia by amplifying the noise and keeping your brain active by processing the sounds.
So what does this mean for someone experiencing hearing loss? If you have noticed any hearing loss in yourself or a loved one, it’s more important than ever to schedule a hearing evaluation with an audiologist. They will test your hearing and determine if you’re a good candidate for hearing aids.
How to Slow Dementia with Hearing Aids
If your hearing evaluation indicates you need hearing aids, you must follow the audiologist’s recommended treatment plan. The biggest problem with hearing aids is that even though they’re prescribed to a patient, that patient often doesn’t always get into the habit of regularly wearing them. This does nothing to improve their hearing, increasing their risk of cognitive decline.
Here are the most common reasons patients don’t wear their hearing aids:
- Fit – The hearing aid feels uncomfortable in the ear, or you hear a whistling sound, indicating the hearing aid may have some gapping.
- Anxiety – Wearing a hearing aid in public for the first time may cause an individual to feel anxious or embarrassed. If you’re worried about how they’ll look, opt for a hearing aid model that is thin and unobtrusive.
- Sound – Getting used to how a hearing aid makes the world sound will take some time. Your brain needs to adjust to listening through the device, but it will sound more natural as your brain gets used to it over time.
If you have a concern preventing you from wearing your hearing aids regularly, reach out to the team at El Dorado Hearing. We are more than happy to walk you through the different options available to make them more comfortable — allowing you to wear them more often and decrease your risk of dementia.
Schedule a hearing test with El Dorado Hearing of Tucson
To assist in managing your hearing loss, we provide complete hearing evaluations at El Dorado Hearing. Our hearing specialists are highly experienced and provide you with an in-depth hearing assessment to evaluate whether you have hearing loss and the extent to which the loss affects you.
We’ll help you find the proper hearing aids to restore your hearing and help minimize the risk of cognitive impairment as you get older.
For personalized hearing testing in Tucson, AZ, make El Dorado Hearing of Tucson first on your list. We strive to make our hearing offices comfortable where everyone feels welcome.
If you are ready to regain control of your hearing, visit us at one of our hearing clinics. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our caring and expert hearing specialists!
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