Hearing loss can impact more than just your hearing.

In addition to the impacts on your emotional well-being, untreated hearing loss can also affect your cognitive health. When your ability to hear declines, your brain receives less stimulation than it typically would because it’s not working to identify different sounds and nuances. Over time, this lack of exercise for your brain can lead to memory loss or even dementia. Think of your brain in the same way you think of your body; if you work out the different muscle groups of your body, you remain healthy overall. However, if you instead only focused on one specific area, the other parts of your body become weaker. This is how untreated hearing loss impacts your brain. The portion of your brain responsible for transmitting sound becomes weaker, making memory loss more likely.

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What to do if you or a loved one has hearing loss.

It is important to know that if someone is suffering from hearing loss, they might feel self-conscious or embarrassed admitting they have a problem. The best thing to do when your friend or family member is struggling with hearing loss is to support them and advise them to seek care from a Certified Hearing Specialist. You can even call us to make an appointment for a loved one if they don't want to do it themselves. Together, we can help your loved one restore their hearing and quality of life.

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Hearing Loss Linked to Dementia

A top researcher at Johns Hopkins Medical Center linked Hearing Loss to dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.

“The general perception is that hearing loss is a relatively inconsequential part of aging,” says Frank Lin, M.D., an otologist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Lin says recent findings suggest that it may play a much more important role in brain health than previously believed.

Dr. Lin does see a potential upside. The connection shown in several recent studies, raises the possibility that treating hearing loss more aggressively could help slow down or prevent cognitive decline and dementia. Lin and other researchers have several theories about the possible cause of the link between hearing and dementia.

Lin has authored several studies indicating a link between hearing and cognitive problems ranging from mild impairment all the way to dementia. In a 2013 study, he and his colleagues tracked concentration, memory and planning skills of nearly 2,000 adults whose average age was 77. After six years, those who began the study with hearing loss severe enough to interfere with conversation were 24 percent more likely than those with normal hearing to have seen their cognitive abilities diminish. In the findings the researchers found hearing loss seemed to speed up age-related cognitive decline.

It is common for people to withdraw from social settings and feel isolated from others because of their hearing loss. Admitting there is a loss and treating it is the first step to reconnecting with people around us. It will improve daily communication, but it can help prevent or delay cognitive decline.

If you suspect you have hearing difficulties, please get it tested. Call us today. 330-333-0230

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