Of all the organs of the human body, the brain is still the most mysterious and least understood by science. But there is a tremendous amount of research focused on changing that. Given that May is Better Hearing and Speech Month — with a theme this year of “Communication Across the Lifespan” — what better opportunity to raise awareness of the links between hearing health and cognitive health.
More precisely, what is being discovered is that degraded hearing can lead to declines in cognitive abilities, especially in older individuals. And given the ability of modern science and healthcare to treat hearing issues, there’s no reason to passively accept the scenario.
The most recent study — “Longitudinal Relationship Between Hearing Aid Use and Cognitive Function In Older Americans” — appeared in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society last June. It found that the use of hearing aids “may delay cognitive decline” by countering the effects of hearing loss.
The primary issue, in this case, is that hearing loss can lead to depression and a lack of social engagement due to a breakdown in the ability to communicate—which has already been established as detrimental to cognitive function.
Earlier studies have already established other links between hearing and brain health. A 2014 study entitled “Association of Hearing Impairment with Brain Volume Changes In Older Adults” published in Neuroimage found that people with untreated hearing loss actually lost brain volume at a faster rate (the shrinkage of the brain is a natural part of the aging process). The study was sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Both of these studies highlight the advantages of treating hearing loss issues as soon as possible. Don’t wait – Contact us today.