Scientists are finding more evidence that hearing loss can make you more likely to experience cognitive decline.
However, that does not mean that people with hearing loss are guaranteed to have dementia.
Cognitive overload fatigues the brain and can accelerate brain atrophy or shrinkage. How does this happen? As hearing becomes harder, your brain works harder to register and comprehend what you’re trying to listen to. This process,
in turn, steals the energy needed fof memory and thinking. Dr. Frank Lin, MD, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University, says three
things may be involved:
- People with hearing loss tend to feel isolated since it’s harder to join conversations
or understand. This tends to make a person feel lonely.
- Your brain works harder to process sounds. Again, this steals the energy
needed for thinking.
- If ears no longer pick up many sounds, your hearing nerves will send fewer
signals to your brain. As such, the brain can decline.
- I have noticed a little hearing loss as time goes on myself. It seems like I must increase the volume for any new TV programs I watch… but I am not adjusting the volume for earlier TV programs. Is it me or the networks I am watching?
This article stresses the importance of having our hearing checked annually to determine the rate of hearing loss occurring. Many Medicare Supplement plans offer discounts on hearing aids, as do the Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO plans. Please talk to your doctor about your hearing health.
Information sourced from: WebMD/John Hopkins/NIH