Protecting Your Brain from Hearing Loss

Protecting Your Brain from Hearing Loss

Recent research indicates that hearing loss has an impact on cognitive abilities. The Columbia University Medical Center conducted a study that tested the cognitive functioning of hearing impaired elderly adults through the use of cognitive tests. The results indicated that elderly adults who use hearing devices have a higher score than those without hearing aids. These results indicate that hearing loss hampers your cognitive abilities, while wearing hearing aids can prevent this cognitive decline from occurring.

The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry published the above study that had explored 100 participants aged between 80 to 99 years. The initial part of the study tested each participant’s hearing abilities after which their cognitive functioning was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), which is a common medical assessment tool used to check for dementia.

Results from the study found that those who wear hearing aids to rectify their hearing loss scored significantly higher on the MMSE than those that did not wear any hearing devices. This means that those who do not wear hearing aids to address their hearing loss may be putting themselves at risk of developing dementia later in their lives, while using hearing aids can help delay or prevent the onset of dementia altogether.

Dementia can occur as a result of loss of communication and auditory skills that result from hearing impairment. According to Dr. Anil Lalwani, this occurrence is less likely to happen if a person addresses their hearing loss since hearing aids enable that person to keep themselves engaged in regular conversations and keep their communication and language skills intact.

Other studies have also indicated that wearing hearing aids can increase the ability to deal with psychological, emotional and social issues that occur as a result of hearing loss. People with hearing aids appear to have a lesser likelihood of developing ailments such as depression, loss of brain tissue, social withdrawal, and problems with maintaining equilibrium. With so many benefits of wearing hearing aids, it is prudent to get your hearing checked so that you too can delay the possibility of any negative impact due to hearing loss.