Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline

an older gentleman cupping his hand to his right ear

Hearing loss is about more than not being able to hear the TV or what people are saying clearly, although those are big problems too. Hearing loss can also contribute to faster and earlier cognitive decline for people who experience it and more people need to understand that fact.

If more people fully understand the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline, more people would be willing to seek the help and treatment they need. We’re going to talk more now about the way in which hearing loss and cognitive decline are linked and what that should mean for you.

Hearing loss leaves your brain has more to deal with

One of the biggest problems that’s caused to your brain by living with untreated hearing loss is the need for the brain to do more work than it otherwise would. Hearing loss leaves the brain with more work to do and more information to deal with because the brain has to change how it understands and interprets sounds.

That extra load that the brain has to contend with and manage will eventually take its toll. It’s not natural for the brain to be forced to deal with so many new functions, but that’s what it’s forced to do when it has to receive and interpret sounds in a new way as a result of hearing loss.

Reduced social engagement leads to further cognitive decline

People who have issues with hearing often find that they struggle with social situations. They feel that they don’t want to take part in social situations or conversations in public places because they find it hard to focus in one what people are saying. This is a problem because it leads to reduced social engagement and isolation in some cases.

We all need to engage with other people from day to day because humans have social needs. When we withdraw from those social situations, it leads to social isolation which can be very severe indeed. The lack of social interaction will eventually lead to further cognitive decline.

Testing and treatments can help

If you have your hearing tested regularly and you stay on top of any changes in your hearing, you’ll be able to make sure that you get the treatment you need when you need it. That really is one of the most important things of all when it comes to dealing with hearing loss and preventing it from developing into something more.

Testing and treatments come in many forms, but it’s important to head to an audiologist when you’re looking for these kinds of services. When you have your hearing properly tested, the result will be explained to you by your audiologist and then options can be explored, which takes us on to our next section.

The use of hearing aids

The use of hearing aids is the most common way in which people with hearing loss can be treated. These devices compensate for the loss of range in a person’s hearing, allowing them to hear and focus on relevant sounds when they’re in all kinds of situations. They can be a true lifeline to many people living with hearing loss.

Hearing aids obviously help in the immediate sense of making your life easier in terms of hearing from day to day. But perhaps even more significant is the impact they’re capable of having in terms of your long-term health and cognitive capabilities.

Have a hearing test carried out

If you’re unsure about your current situation but you’re concerned that you might have hearing loss, you should start by having a hearing test carried out by a professional. When you do that, you can get a clear idea of your current hearing health and any problems that might currently be present in that department.

There’s nothing to be concerned or worried about when it comes to having a hearing test carried out. It’s a simple process, and the audiologist you choose will talk you through the process so you know exactly what to expect before it starts.

If you want to stay on top of your cognitive health, that means taking care of your hearing health too, as the information above demonstrates. If you want to get your hearing tested and receive any treatments that might be necessary, you can get in touch with our team. We offer all those hearing care services and more at Nola Aronson’s Advanced Audiology, so call us today at (661) 253-3277.