Hearing Loss Solutions Help Slow Dementia

“Woman

Susan is living the active lifestyle she always thought she would in retirement. At 68, she’s now visited over a dozen countries and has many more to go. On some days she can be found tackling a hiking trail with her grandkids, on others she will be volunteering at a local soup kitchen, and sometimes you will see her out enjoying the lake.

Susan always has something new to see or do. But occasionally, Susan can’t help but be concerned about how cognitive decline or dementia could really change her life.

Her mother showed first signs of dementia when she was around Susan’s age. Over a 15 year period, Susan watched as the woman who had always cared for her and loved her without condition struggled with what seemed to be simple tasks. She forgets random things. There finally came a time when she often couldn’t recognize Susan anymore.

Susan has tried to eat a balanced diet and exercise so she could hopefully steer clear of what her mother went through. But she’s not sure that will be enough. Are there established ways to delay dementia or cognitive decline?

Fortunately, it is possible to ward off cognitive decline by doing a few things. Here are only three.

1. Get Exercise

This one was already part of Susan’s daily life. Every day she tries to get at least the suggested amount of exercise.

Many studies support the fact that people who do moderate exercise regularly as they age have a reduced risk for cognitive decline and dementia. These same studies show that individuals who are already experiencing some form of mental decline also have a positive impact from consistent exercise.

Researchers think that exercise may ward off mental decline for a number of very important reasons.

  1. Exercise decreases the deterioration of the nervous system that normally occurs as a person ages. The brain needs these nerves to communicate with the body, process memories, and consider how to do things. Scientists believe that because exercise slows this deterioration, it also slows cognitive decline.
  2. Exercise could increase the production of neuroprotection factors. There are mechanisms in your body that protect some cells from damage. Scientists think that an individual who exercises might produce more of these protectors.
  3. The risk of cardiovascular disease is reduced by exercising. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells in the brain. Cells will die when cardiovascular disease stops this flow of blood. Exercise may be able to slow down dementia by keeping these vessels healthy.

2. Have Vision Problems Treated

An 18-year study of 2000 people with cataracts, showed that getting cataract surgery halved the occurrence of cognitive decline in the group who had them removed.

While this study focused on one common cause for eyesight loss, this study backs the fact that maintaining eyesight as you age is important for your mental health.

Eyesight loss at an older age can cause a person to withdraw from their circle of friends and quit doing things they enjoy. Additional studies have explored links between social separation and worsening dementia.

If you have cataracts, don’t just dismiss them. You’ll be safeguarding yourself against the development of dementia if you do what you can to maintain healthy vision.

3. Get Hearing Aids

If you have untreated hearing loss, you could be on your way into cognitive decline. A hearing aid was given to 2000 participants by the same researchers that performed the cataract research. They tested the progression of mental decline in the same way.

The results were even more remarkable. The people who got the hearing aids saw their dementia advancement rates decline by 75%. In other words, whatever existing dementia they may have currently had was almost completely stopped in its tracks.

This has some probable reasons.

The social aspect is the first thing. People tend to go into seclusion when they have untreated hearing loss because socializing with friends at restaurants and clubs becomes a challenge.

Second, when someone gradually begins to lose their hearing, the brain forgets how to hear. The degeneration progressively affects other parts of the brain the longer the person waits to get their hearing aids.

In fact, researchers have actually compared the brains of people with neglected hearing loss to people who wear hearing aids using an MRI. People who have neglected hearing loss actually experience shrinking of the brain.

Clearly, your mental ability and memory are going to start to slip under these circumstances.

Ward off dementia by wearing your hearing aids if you have them. If you have hearing loss and are hesitant to get hearing aids, it’s time to schedule a visit with us. Find out how you can hear better with modern technological advancements in hearing aids.



References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3258000/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/10/11/hearing-aids-slow-dementia-75-new-study-finds/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6581941/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5764000/
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-hidden-risks-of-hearing-loss
https://www.helpingmehear.com/hearing-aids-facts/

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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