If you are losing your hearing, you could be losing your memory too. Recent research adds to a growing body of knowledge that links hearing loss with cognitive decline, which is a hallmark of dementia and often precedes the disease. So if you want to continue to have a happy and healthy life, get your hearing checked. It may prevent the onset of other disabilities.
Poor hearing could lead to poor memory
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia. It can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related decline.
Studies have found that people with hearing loss have a significantly higher risk of MCI. Hearing loss and cognitive decline have some features in common. Their causes involve several factors and often both get worse over time. Experts in the US attributed these common features point to a buildup of “auditory and neurodegenerative damage” over a lifetime. Their research found that:
- Those who reported mild hearing loss had a 30 percent higher risk of subsequent subjective cognitive decline
- Those who reported moderate hearing loss had a 42 percent higher risk
- Those who reported severe hearing loss, but who were not using hearing aids had a 54 percent higher risk
Further analysis revealed that participants with severe hearing loss who did use hearing aids had a lower (37 percent) risk of subsequent subjective cognitive decline. This means that hearing aids and hearing care not only improves your current quality of life, they lower the risk of future disabilities.
Hearing aids and prevention
A study published this year in The Hearing Review suggests that improving prevention, identification, and treatment of hearing impairment may help to delay the onset of cognitive impairment and reduce the impending dementia. Good hearing health may be critical for good cognitive health. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified dementia as a public health priority that requires more research, especially into its causes and risk factors. There are around 50 million people living with dementia worldwide, and this figure is set to rise.
So if you or your loved ones are losing your memory think about getting your hearing checked. You may be able to solve two problems with one hearing aid. Drop in to Clarisound for a free, quick hearing check up or make an appointment through the web or by phone. It may help you to remember your later years with enjoyment.