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It’s World Alzheimer’s Month! Every September Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) works tirelessly to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, and dedicates a month to reducing the stigma around Alzheimer’s Disease. Many people are scared to admit that they’re feeling more forgetful than ever, or that they often get confused. Many studies have linked hearing loss with an increased risk of dementia, but one French study provides a lot of hope. While hearing loss speeds up cognitive decline, treating hearing loss could be the key to reducing your chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline
You might think you know all about hearing loss, but struggling to hear affects far more than just your relationships. Hearing loss makes it difficult to follow conversations, concentrate, or perform cognitive tasks. Untreated hearing loss leads to a host of related complications, such as reduced mobility, an increased chance of slips, fall and accidents, and lower quality of life. Hearing loss is also linked to poor physical and mental health, social isolation, and rapid cognitive decline.
A recently published French study followed a group of over 3,500 adults for 25 years to learn more about how hearing loss affects cognition. Lead researcher Hélène Amieva from the Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux in France analyzed self-reports by seniors with and without hearing loss, to find out more about their hearing health and cognitive abilities. They found that living with untreated hearing loss actually accelerates cognitive decline in older adults!
Hearing Loss and Alzheimer’s Disease
Hearing loss increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Since hearing loss as been closely linked to rapid cognitive decline it’s not hard to see why. When you have hearing loss, the auditory regions of your brain aren’t being fully utilized. These parts of the brain eventually get used for something else, are damaged, or even die. This causes your brain to shrink, speeding up cognitive decline.
When you experience this rapid cognitive decline, you’re greatly increasing your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s also attacks the brain, as large deposits of cells called plaques and tangles disrupt brain function, isolate cells, and lead to cell death. When you’re not using your brain fully, as happens with hearing loss, you’re further weakening your brain, and making it easier for Alzheimer’s to affect wide areas of your brain.
Treating Hearing Loss
The best thing you can do for your brain and your cognitive health is to treat your hearing loss. The adults in the French study who treated their hearing loss with hearing aids or cochlear implants didn’t experience the rapid cognitive decline experienced by their peers who chose not to where hearing aids. In fact, their cognitive abilities were on par with seniors who hadn’t experienced hearing loss at all! This means that treating hearing loss keeps your brain healthy, and could be the key to reducing your risks of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Not only does treating hearing loss reduce cognitive decline and lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s, treating hearing loss also improves mental and social outcomes, meaning you’ll be more active and healthy. Treating hearing loss allows you to follow conversations with ease, strengthen relationships, and enjoy the sounds around you. You’ll be able to participate in cognitively stimulating activities and increase your brain health.
Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers
To explore the benefits of treating hearing loss for yourself, visit us at Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers for a comprehensive hearing assessment. We’ll test your level of hearing loss, and help you identify which sounds you have trouble hearing. Hearing aids will not only help you stay cognitively fit, they’ll also give you more energy, and improve your mental health. Those with hearing aids report increases in positive mood, more social activities, better job performance, less depression and higher quality of life.
Do the right thing for your health, and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease by investing in a pair of quality hearing devices. We work with the world’s top hearing aid manufactures, and whether you want the ultimate in connectivity, or are looking for an invisible hearing aid, we have the device to suit every lifestyle and hearing need.