Did you know that your hearing and vison are both linked to your brain health? If you’ve been living with untreated hearing loss, or putting up with blurry vision, you could be doing a lot more damage than you realize, and could be impacting your brain health in ways you didn’t think were possible. In fact, taking care of your hearing and vision slows cognitive decline by 50-75%!
While people of any age can experience cognitive decline, it’s generally seen as a natural part of aging. Children and teenagers go through an intense period of growth and brain development, as they learn about the world around them, interact with peers, learn language, and develop new and exciting skills. Once cognitive development slows in late adolescence, the brain has a harder time to form new pathways, and even existing pathways can easily be weakened or damaged.
Cognitive decline can lead to a host of problems, increase your chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, reduce your mobility, interfere with the tasks of daily life, impact your memory, mood, and personality, and put a strain on your relationships.
Linking Cognitive Decline and Hearing Loss
So, what does hearing loss or poor eyesight have to do with cognitive decline? A recent collaborative study between the University of Michigan and the University of Manchester in the U.K. looked at the links between cognitive decline and hearing loss and vision. They studied data from roughly 2,000 Americans looking at various health measures every 2 years for 18 years. The study discovered that living with hearing loss or vision impairment was closely linked to more rapid cognitive decline, as well as social isolation, and reduced stimulation.
A major reason for the links between cognitive decline and hearing loss is social isolation. When you can’t see or hear clearly, it’s difficult to interact with family and friends, and even going for a walk in your neighborhood can be dangerous or unnerving. Living with untreated hearing loss without seeking treatment could negatively impact your overall well-being and could affect important areas of your life. People with untreated hearing loss experience depression and anxiety at higher rates, and are likely to withdraw socially. Being isolated in this way opens the door for cognitive decline and reduced quality of life.
Taking Care of Your Vision and Hearing
A recent study found that wearing hearing aids can slow cognitive decline by 75%! When you’re able to hear clearly, you spend more time interacting with family and friends, and engaging in the world around you. This keeps your body and brain active, keeps you learning new things every day, and greatly reduces your chances of cognitive decline. Taking care of your senses could be the key to keeping your brain sharp for years to come. You don’t have to resign yourself to being isolated, but you can enjoy a life full of sights and sounds, and you’ll be doing the right thing for your brain.
Researchers also discovered that cataract surgery to improve eyesight reduced cognitive decline by 50%. Over the course of several years of follow-up testing, those who received cataract surgery experienced significantly less cognitive decline than those who continued to live with impaired vision.
Treating Hearing Loss
Participants in the study who wore hearing aids or had cataract surgery had similar rates of cognitive decline as those who had clear hearing and great eyesight. This means that wearing a hearing aid does far more than simply help you follow conversations; it actually keeps your brain healthy and gives you the freedom to enjoy life on your terms.
Looking for the right device? At My Hearing Centers, we work with the world’s top hearing aid manufacturers to ensure that you get the best in hearing technology. Our team of hearing specialists will work with you to determine your level of hearing loss and your lifestyle, so we’ll be able to recommend the perfect device to fit seamlessly into your life. Is discretion your top priority? We have devices that sit within the ear canal and are nearly invisible. Want the best in connectivity features? Check out our hearing aids with streaming technology that will send audio right to your ears. Whatever your hearing needs, we have the device that has the power to change your life.