That hearing loss can affect your brain has been established in multiple studies. (Just look at some of our previous blog posts.) Hearing Aids, luckily, have been shown to be capable of helping you recover some of that cognitive capacity.
We’re not claiming that you will get smarter just by using hearing aids. But there’s some compelling research that suggests hearing aids can increase cognitive abilities, lowering your risk for depression, dementia, and anxiety.
Your Brain is Responsible For a Significant Portion of Your Hearing
It’s important to realize how significant a part your brain plays in hearing if you are going to understand the connection between cognition and your ears. It’s the brain’s job to transform sound vibrations into perceptible sound information. So as your hearing wanes, the regions of your brain that decipher those sounds suddenly have a lot less to do.
Changes in your brain (and hearing), along with other considerations (including social isolation), can trigger the onset of mental health issues. In persons with untreated hearing loss, it’s not uncommon to notice an increase in the risks of anxiety, depression, and dementia.
When you wear hearing aids, you’re effectively “treating” your hearing loss. That means:
- You can stop your hearing from becoming worse by wearing hearing aids in conjunction with regular screening.
- The parts of your brain responsible for hearing will get regular workouts; the more your brain works, the healthier your brain stays.
- You’ll be less likely to isolate yourself socially. You will be more likely to engage with others if you can hear and understand conversations.
Keeping You on Your Toes
Hearing aids can lessen depression, anxiety, and dementia because they stimulate your brain and your social life.
- Inner ear health: Hearing loss by itself will not trigger inner ear injury. But there is typically a common cause for both loss of hearing and inner ear damage. So treating the one can help you treat the other, and in many situations, a hearing aid is a component of that treatment regimen.
- New technology: Some modern hearing aids, when someone has a fall, can automatically notify emergency services. This may not prevent the fall to begin with, but it can lessen long-term injuries or complications caused by the fall.
- Creating stronger awareness: Occasionally, because you’re not mindful of your environment, you could have a fall. Your situational awareness can be significantly hindered by hearing issues. Not only can it be hard to hear sounds, but it can also be a challenge to figure out what direction sounds are originating from. A fall or other accident can be the consequence.
To be honest, you’re more likely to avoid a fall when you’re wearing hearing aids. A hearing aid keeps you more alert, more mindful, and more tuned in, improving cognitive attributes and general health in the process.
Stop Ignoring Your Hearing Aid
We haven’t even addressed the fact that a hearing aid will also improve your hearing. So when you take into consideration that amplified hearing, factor in the mental health benefits and physical well-being, it seems as if using these devices would be a simple decision (not something you need to overthink).
The problem is that many people don’t know they have hearing loss. When your hearing goes away slowly, you may have a hard time noticing. That’s why it’s essential to have your hearing checked routinely. A wide variety of other health issues can be made worse by hearing loss.
The ideal hearing aid can, in part, slow the onset of despair and dementia, while decreasing the occurrences of certain physical injuries. Besides helping your hearing, hearing aids offer a striking number of benefits.