Hearing Loss & Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

Did you know? We actually use our brains to process the sounds that come through our ears. That means that hearing is actually a brain function and thus why there is a link between hearing loss and the brain. Since June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, we are shedding some light on this issue because hearing loss can result in a cognitive decline in older adults if left untreated.

Untreated Hearing Loss and Your Brain

Research is ongoing in the area of hearing loss and the brain. Researchers are working to uncover the exact cause and effect or relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline that often results in dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. One thing that is evident is that it isn’t hearing loss itself that causes problems with memory or brain function, but when hearing loss goes untreated. Since auditory processing happens in the brain, if your ears don’t hear the sounds properly, then the brain has to work harder trying to process sounds and speech. Research is still ongoing to find out exactly what happens during this process. Some theories include:

  • When the ears don’t hear properly and in turn the brain works harder, this might cause a change in overall brain function.
  • The cognitive strain on the brain when it has to work harder to decode messages from the ears might result in the brain having less capacity to focus on memory and other cognitive functions.
  • It is already known that hearing loss can cause isolation and depression when those with hearing loss are not able to socialize and communicate properly. However, this isolation might also have some other negative effects on the brain that cause the cognitive decline.
  • Since research is still ongoing, researchers acknowledge that there might be an undiscovered connection between hearing loss and the brain

One thing is for sure, and that is if you feel that your hearing is not as sharp as it used to be, there are more than one reason for seeking treatment. We have a solution for you and it starts with a hearing assessment. Hearing aids will not only help you communicate and hear great again, but can also prevent cognitive decline such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

Hearing Solutions, Inc. Cutting Edge Hearing Loss Solutions

At Hearing Solutions, Inc., we are always here to help you through all aspects of your hearing health. If you have any questions about the treatment options or need help coping with hearing loss, please contact us at Hearing Solutions, Inc. to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today.

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